UT slightly up in QS ranking, UvA number 1 in the Netherlands

| Redactie , HOP, Bas Belleman

The University of Twente has climbed a few places in the annual world ranking of British research agency QS: from 197 to 189. Two Dutch universities score high: the University of Amsterdam and TU Delft rank 55 and 57.

Photo by: Tim Rijnhout

Last year, UT still recorded a slight dip. Compared to 2019, the UT dropped eleven places in 2020. Eight of those places have now been taken back.

Some find them derisory, others insightful: the annual rankings of the world’s top universities. No matter which one you name, Dutch universities usually score quite well without making it to the very top.

The same applies to the QS rankings published yesterday. Ten Dutch universities made it into the top 200, three others just missed by a narrow margin and Tilburg University trails somewhat behind in 356th place.

MIT and Oxford

The global rankings are dominated by British and American universities. America’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology took first place, while Britain’s Oxford University came in second. Switzerland, China and Singapore each have two universities in the top twenty.

Half of the score is based on the reputation of a given university according to 130,000 researchers (40 percent) and 75,000 employers (10 percent). The other half is made up of citation scores of research groups (20 percent), the ratio of students to teaching faculty (20 percent), the number of international teaching faculty (5 percent), and the number of international students (also 5 percent).

Controversial

Rankings are controversial. Why should an institution’s reputation be so heavily weighted? For whom are such rankings actually compiled? And who are the researchers whose opinions have been sought?

Moreover, according to their detractors, rankings promote point-scoring and ingenuity, while relevant research into such things as local problems or rare diseases does not always translate into high scores.

And sometimes criteria are politically sensitive. The number of international students, for example, is also one of the criteria in the QS rankings, even though there are many in academe who are not in favour of the unchecked growth of international student cohorts.

Supporters

Those who support the rankings, however, believe that the rise and fall of universities in the global rankings does have an impact. One place higher or lower might not make a difference, but excellent foreign students and scientists do choose an institution with a good reputation. Furthermore, it also provides some insight into which countries are leading the way in terms of research.

Dutch universities

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Loss or gain

Amsterdam UvA

55

57

58

57

64

61

55

+6

Delft

64

62

54

52

50

57

57

0

Utrecht

94

104

109

124

120

121

110

+11

Leiden

95

102

109

122

118

128

112

+16

Wageningen

135

119

124

125

125

115

123

-8

Eindhoven

117

121

104

99

102

120

125

-5

Groningen

100

113

113

120

114

128

128

0

Rotterdam

126

144

147

179

183

197

179

+18

Twente

188

177

179

172

186

197

189

+8

Amsterdam VU

176

199

218

231

219

236

209

+27

Radboud

177

190

204

204

217

214

220

-6

Maastricht

169

173

200

211

239

234

233

+1

Tilburg

293

330

357

319

412

368

356

+12

© HOP. Source: QS World University Rankings.