THE Ranking

THE World University Rankings 2019

Looking at the global rankings, it is noticeable that the “Times Higher Education World University Ranking” is the only one that assesses research-strong universities in terms of all other core tasks of a university. In addition to research, this also includes teaching, knowledge transfer and internationalization. To this end, thirteen carefully selected indicators are examined, which can be traced by the university management, the students and the staff of the universities. These indicators can be assigned to the following five superordinate categories.

  • Teaching (learning environment),
  • Research (reputation, research revenues and research productivity),
  • Citations (research influence),
  • Internationality (staff, students and international cooperation)
  • Research funds from industry (knowledge transfer).

More Information

US RankWUR RankUniversityNo. of FTE studentsNo. of students per staffInternational studentsfemale : male ratio
13Stanford University15,8787.423%43 : 57
24Massachusetts Institute of Technology11,2318.734%38 : 62
35California Institute of Technology2,2556.529%33 : 67
46Harvard University20,5959.126%48 : 52
57Princeton University7,9968.224%45 : 55
68Yale University12,3185.220%50 : 50
710University of Chicago13,5626.125%44 : 56
8=12Johns Hopkins University16,1464.625%52 : 48
8=12University of Pennsylvania20,4436.420%52 : 48
1015University of California, Berkeley36,46813.217%51 : 49
US RankWUR RankUniversityNo. of FTE studentsNo. of students per staffInternational studentsfemale : male ratio
1116Columbia University26,5866.037%n/a
1217University of California, Los Angeles39,4649.217%53 : 47
1318Duke University15,0374.418%48 : 52
1419Cornell University21,9049.825%49 : 51
1520University of Michigan41,8318.317%48 : 52
1624Carnegie Mellon University13,03313.347%40 : 60
1725Northwestern University17,60013.019%48 : 52
1827New York University44,4338.932%56 : 44
1928University of Washington45,47611.316%53 : 47
2030University of California, San Diego31,68712.920%46 : 54
US RankWUR RankUniversityNo. of FTE studentsNo. of students per staffInternational studentsfemale : male ratio
2134Georgia Institute of Technology21,90321.527%32 : 68
2239University of Texas, Austin48,56117.110%51 : 49
2343University of Wisconsin-Madison39,19310.512%n/a
2450University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign43,90817.924%47 : 53
2552University of California, Santa Barbara23,45727.916%52 : 48
2653Brown University9,08210.721%n/a
2754Washington University, St Louis13,0747.320%n/a
2856University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill34,2269.48%57 : 43
29=59University of California, Davis37,84713.513%57 : 43
3064Purdue University, West Lafayette39,40917.023%42 : 58
US RankWUR RankUniversityNo. of FTE studentsNo. of students per staffInternational studentsfemale : male ratio
3166University of Southern California35,51011.625%53 : 47
32=71University of Minnesota Twin Cities60,62012.311%52 : 48
32=71Ohio State University53,54012.812%49 : 51
34=74Boston University25,0958.427%60 : 40
34=74University of California, Santa Barbara23,45727.916%52 : 48
36=79University of Warwick19,64913.341%50 : 50
3781Pennsylvania State University45,70415.015%46 : 54
38=82University of Maryland, College Park32,09916.210%47 : 53
39=84Emory University12,6474.220%58 : 42
4086Rice University6,5548.928%42 : 58
US RankWUR RankUniversityNo. of FTE studentsNo. of students per staffInternational studentsfemale : male ratio
41=93Michigan State University44,95117.017%51 : 49
42=96University of California, Irvine31,08916.724%53 : 47
43=99Dartmouth College6,1726.715%48 : 52
44106University of Virginia24,2959.412%53 : 47
45109Georgetown University15,8018.517%54 : 46
46=110University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh26,5175.911%52 : 48
47=114University of Colorado Boulder31,62515.512%44 : 56
48=121Vanderbilt University12,0383.114%54 : 46
49=123Arizona State University46,36220.820%43 : 57
50=132Case Western Reserve University10,4127.823%49 : 51
US RankWUR RankUniversityNo. of FTE studentsNo. of students per staffInternational studentsfemale : male ratio
51=146Indiana University65,70713.816%52 : 48
52152Tufts University10,65910.119%55 : 45
53=156University of Florida46,55517.510%54 : 46
54=159University of Arizona39,26413.39%52 : 48
55=163University of Rochester9,6814.229%49 : 51
56=167University of California, Santa Cruz17,86823.15%52 : 48
57=171Texas A&M University58,56725.89%48 : 52
58173University of Notre Dame12,03513.712%45 : 55
59=176Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey44,12711.216%52 : 48
60179University of Alabama at Birmingham15,74415.36%62 : 38

Reasons for non-evaluation of institutions

If institutions are active in research but do not teach Bachelor students, they will not be included in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking. The same applies to universities that published less than 1,000 relevant publications between 2013 and 2017 (minimum 150 per year). Likewise, universities are not considered if 80 percent of their research results were achieved exclusively in one of the eleven possible research areas.

Data collection
The universities are evaluated on the basis of the data provided by the universities themselves. The use of this data is authorised by each university. However, if one data point is missing, the relevant indicator was estimated conservatively. This procedure can prevent a university from being evaluated disproportionately badly due to a lack of a data point and from being upgraded equally unfairly.

Creating results
In order to arrive at anoverall result for an institution, a whole series of data points must be compiled and compared. To do this, values must be adjusted that represent a deviation from the basic data population. This is done using a standardization approach. Each key figure is then weighted according to its category. The corresponding weightings are shown below.

With the exception of the key figure “Academic Reputation Survey”, for which an exponential component is added, all key figures are calculated using a version of Z scoring.


Analyzed metrics / indicators

The teaching (learning environment) => weighting 30%.

  • Academic Reputation Survey: 15%.
  • Ratio employee-student: 4.5%.
  • Ratio of PhD students to bachelor students: 2.25%.
  • Percentage of employees with a doctorate in academic teaching: 6%.
  • Institutional income: 2.25%.

In order to measure Academic Reputation, a survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2018. The perceived reputation of an institution’s teaching was measured. The THE team made every effort to gather as much data as possible from a wide variety of disciplines and countries. If departments or countries were represented above or below average, a corresponding weighting had to be carried out. Finally, all data from spring 2018 were merged with the data from the 2017 survey. This resulted in a data set with more than 20,000 responses.

A high proportion of doctoral students not only stands for high quality teaching, but also for very good support for young academics. Such perspectives of further development naturally increase the attractiveness of universities for students.

However, the ratio of doctoral students must be assimilated as a key figure when determining the results in order to do justice to the fact that the number of doctoral students varies greatly from subject area to subject area.

The institutional income must also be put in relation to the size of a university or the number of its employees. The resulting standardizedpurchasing power parity (PPP) enables a university to be assessed in terms of infrastructure and facilities that students andstaff can use.


Research (reputation, research revenue and research productivity) => weighting = 30%.

  • Reputation survey: 18%.
  • Research revenue: 6%.
  • Research productivity: 6%.

In the “Research” category, the most important indicator is the reputation of the institution in its field. Every year, the THE data team asks scientists about the reputation of other institutions.

The key figure “Research revenues” is set in relation to the number of scientific employees and adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP). It should be critically noted that this figure is heavily dependent on the political orientation and economic situation of a country. However, since outstanding research achievements can only be achieved with corresponding research revenues and budgets, this indicator, which is sometimes difficult to compare, must also play a role within the overall evaluation of an institution. This figure must not disregard the fact that research fellowships sometimes vary considerably in their scope depending on the field of study. This indicator has therefore also been standardizedin order to take account of the different scientific priorities of the competing university.

Research productivity is measured on the basis of an institution’s publications. All publications published in scientific journals and recorded in the Elsevier Scopus database are counted. Of course, this indicator must also be set in relation to the number of employees of an institution and to the field of study. In addition, a methodology has been developed to take into account publications of institutions that do not publish the number of their staff.


Citation (research influence) => weighting = 30%.

The influence of a university on research as a whole is measured by recording how often results, statements, findings or entire publications of a university are cited in other publications worldwide.

For the current ranking, data service provider Elsevier analyzed67.9 million citations on 14.1 million journal articles, article reviews, conference reports, books and book chapters. All publications of the last five years were included in this analysis.

The key figure “citations” can be used to illustrate how much a university contributes to the further development of human knowledge.


Internationality (staff, students and international cooperation) => Weighting = 7.5%.

  • Proportion of international employees: 2.5%.
  • Proportion of international students: 2.5%.
  • International cooperation: 2.5%.

In order to achieve long-term international success, it is essential for universities to train and employ students and scientists from a wide variety of countries.

In order to be able to evaluate the indicator “International Cooperation”, publications are counted on which at least one international co-author has worked. With the help of a factor, the total number of international authors is also considered. This figure must also take into account the research focus of the university and fluctuations over a period of five years. (Similar to the category “citations (research influence)”.


Research funds from industry (knowledge transfer) => weighting = 2.5%.
Every university today has the task of attracting research funds from the private sector. If a university achieves a good rating in this category, this shows a high level of commitment in the areas of consulting, development and innovation transfer. How high the research funds from industry are naturally depends very much on the number of employees who can acquire these funds. For this reason, this ratio is set in relation to the number of scientific employees at a university.


More information about THE World University Rankings 2019 can be found on the Times Higher Education website:!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats