All 13 of the ranked Dutch universities have dropped slightly in the rankings. They are still, however, among the top 400 and according to the research agency this means that ‘the Netherlands has one of the strongest higher education ecosystems in Europe’.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology took the top spot for the eleventh successive time – a new record. The new number two this year is the University of Cambridge.
The rankings are decided on the basis of six indicators, including the reputation of universities among the scholars and employers interviewed. The impact of research is measured using citations per faculty.
This year, for the first time, QS looked at the success of students on the labour market and examined the international research cooperation of universities.
According to the rankings, the University of Amsterdam has the country’s ‘highest academic reputation’, but still fell this year from 55th to 58th place. The University of Amsterdam scores well in research, measured using the citations per faculty, especially in Life Sciences and Medicine.
As last year, Delft University of Technology is the second-highest ranked Dutch university. It is now 61st, four places lower than last year.
The Netherlands is doing less well with respect to each of the indicators of the QS rankings. The universities scored surprisingly poorer with regard to their reputation among employers: they fell on average 77 places.
There were some positive points too. The Netherlands is ‘cooperating intensively’ in the field of international research: 62 percent of the ‘scientific output’ of the last five years was produced with international partners. And the British research agency acknowledges that Dutch universities are very attractive to foreign students.
The QS rankings are not without their detractors. Critics do not consider internationalisation to be a plus point for a university. And according to many people, the reputation of institutions carries too much weight.