Monday, September 19, 2016

Update on previous post

The reputation data used by THE in the 2016 world rankings, for which the world is breathlessly waiting, is that which was used in their reputation rankings  released last May and collected between January and March.

Therefore, the distribution of responses from disciplinary groups this year was 9% for the arts and humanities and 15% for social sciences and 13% for business (28% for the last two combined). In 2015 it was 16% for the arts and humanities and 19% for the social sciences (which then included business).

Since UK universities are relatively strong in the humanities and Asian universities relatively strong in business studies the result of this was a shift in the reputation rankings away from the UK and towards Asian universities. Oxford fell from 3rd (score 80.4) to 5th (score 69.1) in the reputation rankings and Bristol and Durham dropped out of the top 100 while Tsinghua University rose from 26th place to 18th, Peking University from 32nd to 21st and Seoul National University from 51-60 to 45th.

In the forthcoming world rankings British universities (although threatened by Brexit) ought to do better because of the inclusion of books in the publications and citations indicators and certain Asian universities, but by no means all, may do better because their citations for mega-projects will be partially restored.

Notice that THE have also said that this year they will combine the reputation scores for 2015 and 2016, something that is unprecedented. Presumably this will reduce the fall of UK universities in the reputation survey. Combined with the inclusion of books in the database, this may mean that UK universities may not fall this year and may even go up a bit (ATBB).  

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