PLuS universities excel in World rankings 2022

Thursday, September 9, 2021

The recently released Times Higher Education World rankings reflect the continuing high performance of our PLuS Alliance partners in many spheres of education, research, and global engagement in challenging times.  

Times Higher Education rankings place Arizona State University in the top 8% of worldwide universities, and among the top 50 in the United States.  ASU tied for No. 132 out of 1,662 institutions across the globe, a jump from its 2020 ranking of No. 184 worldwide out of 1,527. The university also ranks in the top 25% of U.S. higher education institutions, coming in at No. 45 out of 183, ahead of Rice University, the University of Arizona, Northeastern University and the University of Notre Dame.

"Arizona State University has sharpened its focus and used its creativity and resources to meet the challenges of the past year in a way that has advanced both our standards of excellence and our commitment to student access and success,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “The resiliency that has driven our progress will continue to provide the foundation for the way we advance in an economy and in a world where universities must do more than ever, and we believe our climb in the rankings is a reflection of these efforts.” 

King’s College London has been placed 35th in the world rankings, tied with the University of Tokyo. King’s are ranked 7th overall in the United Kingdom, with 50% of the student body categorized as international students.  

UNSW Sydney has placed at 70th globally. UNSW is one of six Australian universities ranked in the top 100. UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research & Enterprise, Professor Nicholas Fisk, said, “Just like the Olympics, Australia continues to punch well above its weight when it comes to its university sector. Generations of Australians have benefited from tertiary education and our research has supported industry growth and innovation, and government planning. 

“During the pandemic we have witnessed firsthand how universities are vital to providing health advice to keep our communities safe and are at the forefront of medical treatments to help us respond to COVID-19 and future outbreaks,” Professor Fisk said. 

“UNSW’s recently announced RNA Institute is just one example of how scientists, government and industry are working together to accelerate the development and delivery of effective vaccines for a range of cancers and infectious diseases, taking key learnings from the current pandemic.” 

The rankings’ performance indicators are grouped into five pillars: teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income, and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (staff, students, and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer). 

This year’s rankings reflected a significant boost to citation impact for those universities that published medical sciences research related to COVID-19, but the organization said it was unclear whether the pandemic would reshape or entrench existing hierarchies in higher education. The 2022 version of the rankings draws on data on research published between 2016 and 2020, and citations made between 2016 and 2021. 

David Watkins, head of data science at Times Higher Education, said the citations effect was “to be expected given that COVID-19 has had such an impact worldwide.” 

“Research into the disease, and especially work on vaccines, was heavily funded and prioritized, and some papers have attracted more than 20,000 citations within a year of publication,” he said in the rankings’ official release. 

“Because (Times Higher Education) uses a five-year window for publications, we believe that this effect will remain noticeable in the rankings for some time, and it is likely that other COVID-related effects, such as reputational impact — both positive and negative — and income, will also become visible.” 

 

Read the full THE rankings