Ghent University Once Again Ranked Highest Among Belgian Universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking)

Campus Aula, Voldersstraat - © UGent (large view)

Campus Aula, Voldersstraat - © UGent

(25-08-2020) For the second year in a row, Ghent University ranks in at 66 in the Shanghai Ranking. Thereby keeping its position as highest ranking Belgian university.

Like previous years, Ghent University especially owes its position in the ranking to the high output of scientific publications. Other contributing factors involve the tenure of scientists whose work is very often cited by others, the high productivity of its academic employees and the number of publications in the renowned magazines Nature and Science.

Ranking in at 66 means Ghent University counts itself among the select group of top European institutions such as the universities of Bristol, Paris, Aarhus and Stockholm. The top positions in the ranking of the 1000 best universities are held by Harvard University, Stanford University and Cambridge University.

About the Shanghai Ranking

Since 2003, the Chinese Shanghai Jiaotong University has been compiling an annual Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). This ranking compares 1500 institutions of higher education. Criteria are, among others, the number of Nobel prizes won by alumni and professors, the number of top publications and the number of much-cited researchers. In 2010, Ghent University was the first Belgian university to enter the top 100 of the so-called Shanghai Ranking (our position then was 90).

Earlier this year, the subject rankings of the Academic Rankings of the World Universities were also published. In this ranking of 54 subject, Ghent University attained a score in the top 50 for 9 subjects, among which a first place for Veterinary Sciences. Other disciplines in the top 50 are: Nursing (7), Food Science & Technology (9), Agricultural Sciences (14), Biotechnology (23), Education (24), Communication (24), Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences (36), Psychology (42).

Rank position depends mainly on the parameters used, the importance accorded to each parameter, the statistical methodology used to process this data and the reliability of the source data. E.g. by altering the parameters or assigning them a different level of importance, it becomes easy to cast doubt on the validity of rankings. An important thing to think about when it comes to this ranking is the use of indicators based on absolute numbers, whereby bigger institutions obtain a higher score. Besides this, the emphasize of the ranking is, above all, on research parameters. This means that other aspects of an institution of higher learning (education, the economic and societal impact, etc.) are not taken into account.


Website Academic Ranking of World Universities

Stephanie Lenoir
Press Officer UGent
09 264 82 76