RUG rises to 74th place in Times ranking

The RUG has risen a spectacular 43 places in the leading Times Higher Education (THE). The university is now in 74th place.

Wageningen University is the highest ranked among Dutch universities, coming in at 47th place. Eight Dutch universities were included in the top 100, and the RUG was in seventh place among those eight institutions.

RUG president Sibrand Poppema is pleased, but that satisfaction comes with a footnote. ‘This is a great result. It’s difficult to make a comparison with previous years though, since the methodology has undergone serious changes.’

Poppema suggested last week in an interview that rankings such as THE deliberately change their methodology in order to cause bigger changes in the positions of universities and thereby generate more publicity.

Top 100

In the new THE ranking, the number of universities has doubled from 400 to 800. From this year forward, publication details will be coming from the database from Elsevier, an academic publishing company. Elsevier’s database includes more articles in more languages than the previous provider, Web of Science from Thomson Reuters, according to THE. In theory, the new system gives English-speaking countries less of an advantage.

The surveys that are used to determine the reputation of universities should also be more evenly distributed across the globe from now on.

The RUG is now officially back in the top 100 in the three most important university rankings: 75th in the Shanghai ranking, 100th in the QS and 76th in the THE.