Science - September 17, 2010

Wageningen UR goes up in new Times rankings

Wageningen UR has gone up from the 155th to the 144th place in the newly revamped Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Most of the other Dutch universities have gone down in the rankings.

The Dutch university with the best score is the Eindhoven University of Technology, at position 114. Leiden University (position 124) and the VU University Amsterdam (139) occupy the second and the third places among the ten Dutch universities in the rankings.
The big losers are Utrecht University which has gone from position 49 to 143, and the University of Amsterdam (from 70 to 165).
Wageningen University is the fifth best Dutch university in the rankings, just behind Utrecht. This is noteworthy because Wageningen is a specialized university, unlike Utrecht. For Wageningen, the score in the life sciences sub-category counts a lot, but this score will only be published by Times Higher Education at the end of the month. Last month, Wageningen UR rose from position 38 to 36 under life sciences in the ARWU world rankings of universities. This is the world's leading measure of quality, next to the THE ranking.
Country category
The Dutch universities have put up a less satisfactory performance as a whole. While they now occupy the fifth place in the country category, the Netherlands had shared the third place with Canada and Japan in the previous Times Higher Education rankings. This year, they have lost out to the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada. The U.S., with Harvard in the lead, takes up the first five places in the university rankings. Cambridge and Oxford share the sixth place.
Weightings
Times Higher Education has modified the weightings for its quality assessment this year. The quality of teaching now determines thirty percent of the final score, while citation counts of scientists account for 32.5 percent. The research reputation, volume and income of the universities together account for 30 percent of the score. A good mix of nationalities among staff and students accounts for five percent of the scores which determine the position on the rankings, while industry income accounts for another 2.5 percent.
The biggest difference in methodology compared with the previous year's is the influence of reputation. The image of institutions used to account for half the weightings: 40 percent for academic reputation and 10 percent for the reputation among employers. The weighting given to such opinions has now been reduced to 34.5 percent: 19.5 percent for research reputation and 15 percent for teaching reputation. Student assessment is not included in the THE rankings. /HOP, Albert Sikkema
THE World University Rankings 2010-2011 (2009)
Eindhoven University of Technology 114 (120)
Leiden University 124 (60)
VU University Amsterdam 139 (165)
Utrecht University 143 (49)
Wageningen University 144 (155)
Delft University of Technology 151 (83)
Erasmus University Rotterdam 159 (108)
University of Amsterdam 165 (70)
University of Groningen 170 (138)
University of Twente 185 (200)

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