Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking Methodology 2023

Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking Methodology 2023

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Rahul
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jun 12, 2023 14:04 IST

A college education is one of the most important investments in the life of a student. While selecting a college, students depend on the best university rankings given by popular ranking providers. Going forward, this decision will have a direct impact on their social, personal as well as professional lives. However, at times it becomes a little tricky to understand these rankings. In this article, we will explain to you the methodology used by the Times Higher Education (THE) to derive these rankings, which will eventually help you in making your decision of selecting a college.

Times Higher Education Rankings is an annual affair by the Times Higher Education based in London. Between 2004 and 2009, QS and THE jointly published the rankings, however, once their collaboration ended both adopted different methodologies to determine these rankings. THE started publishing these rankings based on the methodology developed with Thompson Reuters in 2010.

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Major rankings released by THE annually:

  • World University Rankings
  • Business & Economics Rankings
  • Computer Science Rankings
  • Engineering & Technology Rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking Parameters

For the World University Rankings, 2023, the data is published in autumn 2022. THE scrutinize the research universities on five parameters namely Teaching, Citations, Research, International Outlook, and Industry Income. These are further divided into 13 carefully crafted performance indicators. 

THE Ranking Parameters

S. No.

Ranking Parameters

Performance Indicators

1

Teaching

  • Reputation survey
  • Staff-to-student ratio
  • Doctorate-to-bachelor’s ratio
  • Doctorates-awarded-to-academic-staff ratio
  • Institutional income

2

Research

  • Reputation survey
  • Research income
  • Research productivity

3

Citations

  • Field Weighted Citation Impact

4

International Outlook

  • Proportion of international students
  • Proportion of international staff
  • International collaboration

5

Industry Income

  • Research income from industry & commerce / Academic Staff

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Teaching

For any student, Teaching is the most important aspect to select a university. It is one of the most relevant factors to determine the reputation of a college/university. The Teaching metric is derived by measuring 5 performance indicators namely reputation survey, the ratio of staff to students, the ratio of doctorate students to bachelor's students, the doctorates awarded to academic staff ratio, and institutional income. 

Research

This is also one of the most popular indicators used by ranking providers. A university excelling in teaching may not necessarily excel in research. Candidates looking for great academic experience find this metric very useful. Reputation survey, Research income, and Research productivity have been used to get this methodology. No educational institution has been examined if it has not published at least 1,000 relevant publications in the last five years.

THE takes into account the number of publications published in academic journals with respect to institutional size and subject. This reflects the university's ability to get papers published in quality journals. Institutes with the best research facilities and resources along with intellectuals will offer the best learning experience and produce scholars.

Check: QS World University Rankings: Methodology

Citations

The citations indicate how much each university is contributing to the world of knowledge. These citations indicate whose research has been outstanding and has been referred by scholars worldwide irrespective of its discipline. The data is scrutinized to reflect variations in citation volume between different subjects. The institutions where a high level of research activity is performed in subjects with traditionally high citations have not been given an undue advantage by THE.

Industry Income

A university's ability to help the industry with new inventions, technology transfer, or innovations has now become a core indicator of measuring its capability. This indicator takes into account the knowledge transfer by noting down how much research income an institution earns from the industry with respect to the strength of its academic staff. It also signifies how much businesses are willing to spend on research and a university's ability to attract funding for conducting high-level research work.

International outlook

This metric has been measured by the proportion of international students, the proportion of international staff, and international collaboration. The ultimate impact of the research is important to measure its quality. The university's ability to attract a large section of the student community and faculty from across the world is a key measurement of its success on the world platform.

Check: Best Country for Studying Abroad

7 Major Criteria for Universities to be included in the List

  • Over 1,000 relevant publications should have been published by them over the last five years and over 150 relevant publications in any one year.
  • Undergraduate-level teaching should be provided. More than 0 UG degrees should have been awarded. Therefore, institutions offering only post-graduate programs are not considered.
  • Focus should not be on a particular narrow subject area. 
  • 'Overall' numbers for the ranking year should have been provided.
  • More than two critical values should not exist as null (either withheld or unavailable). These include - undergraduate degrees awarded, students, international academic staff, research staff, research income from industry and commerce, doctorates awarded, academic staff, research income, institutional income, and international students.
  • Atleast one subject should have been marked applicable by the universities. The institution will be excluded if no applicable subjects are reported.
  • The customer exclusions list should not have included their names.

Methodology for different THE rankings

Parameters used for THE rankings are the same, the weightage for different performance indicators changes from one ranking to another. 

World University Rankings Methodology

To understand the weightage for various parameters used for the World University Rankings look at the infograph.

THE Ranking Parameters

World University Ranking

Teaching

30%

Research

30%

Citations

30%

International Outlook

7.5%

Industry Income

2.5%

For determining the general world university rankings, the Times gives high weightage to Teaching, Research and Citations and less weightage to International Outlook and Industry Income. Those looking for the academic reputation of a university can consider the World University Rankings by the Times.

Engineering and Technology Rankings Methodology

Subjects used to determine the ranking:

  • General Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering

THE Ranking Parameters

Engineering and Technology Ranking

Teaching

30%

Research

30%

Citations

27.5%

International Outlook

7.5%

Industry Income

5%

The weightage for the parameters used in getting the Engineering and Technology rankings can have a look at the infograph below.

  • For engineering, the threshold is set at 500 papers published in this discipline in the last five years.
  • An educational institution needs to have either at least 40 academic staff or at least 4 percent of its entire academic staff in the engineering discipline.

Computer Science Rankings Methodology

The weightage given to different parameters for the Computer Science ranking is given in the infograph and the table.

THE Ranking Parameters

Computer Science Ranking

Teaching

30%

Research

30%

Citations

27.5%

International Outlook

7.5%

Industry Income

5%

  • For computer science, the publication threshold is set at 500 papers published in this discipline in the last five years.
  • An educational institution needs to have either at least 20 academic staff or 1 percent of its academic staff engaged in the computer science discipline.

Business and Economics Rankings Methodology

Subjects assessed to determine this ranking:

  • Business and management
  • Accounting and finance
  • Economics and econometrics

THE Ranking Parameters

Business and Economics Ranking

Teaching

30.9%

Research

32.6%

Citations

25%

International Outlook

9%

Industry Income

2.5%

The weightage of different parameters used to get the business and economics ranking can be seen in the below-provided infograph.

  • For business and economics, the publication threshold is set at 200 papers published in this discipline in the last five years.
  • For business and economics, an institution needs to have 5 percent of its entire academic staff or at least 50 academic staff in this discipline.

Read More: Country with Best Higher Education System

FAQs

Q. How many parameters does Times Higher Education take into account while ranking the universities?

A. THE scrutinize the research universities on five parameters namely Teaching, Citations, Research, International Outlook, and Industry Income. These are further divided into 13 carefully crafted performance indicators such as Staff-to-student ratio, Institutional income, Reputation survey, Research income, Research productivity, International collaboration, Field Weighted Citation Impact, etc.

Q. Is Times Higher Education Rankings more reliable than QS World University Rankings?

A. Both of these follow different methods for ranking the universities worldwide. Universities are ranked both on a national and international level by both Times and QS. The only difference is that QS has the highest number of rankings, with nine types and THE has six. Both of these are equally reliable. 

Q. How many universities have been ranked by Times Higher Education in 2023?

A. The latest rankings (2023) released by the Times Higher Education have included a total of 1,799 institutions. Also, 536 other universities have been listed with reporter status because the data sent by them could not meet the set eligibility criteria to obtain a rank. These universities are featured in the final table as a reporter.

Q. Why does Times Higher Education analyze a university's citation while considering it for a rank?

A. The citations indicate how much each university is contributing to the world of knowledge. These citations indicate whose research has been outstanding and has been referred by scholars worldwide irrespective of its discipline. The data is scrutinized to reflect variations in citation volume between different subjects. 

Q. What is the THE ranking methodology for Engineering and Technology?

A. The subjects used to determine the ranking for Engineering and Technology are General Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.
About the Author
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Written by
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

Rahul Singha is a seasoned editor with Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in overseas education. With over 8 years of domain experience, he has made a significant impact in contributing to the study abroad industry ... Read Full Bio

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Reply to Rekha Rani Varshney

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2 years ago

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