World Reputation Rankings 2021: methodology

the Times Higher Education World Famous Rankings are created using the world’s largest academic opinion poll, invitation-only, unique research.

The Academic Reputation Survey, available in 14 languages, uses United Nations data as a guide to ensure response coverage is as representative as possible of global scholarship. It is also distributed evenly among academic disciplines.

The questionnaire, which is administered on behalf of THE by Elsevier, is intended only for experienced and published scholars, who offer their perspective on research and teaching excellence in their disciplines and in institutions they are familiar with.

The 2021 ranking is based on a survey conducted between November 2020 and February 2021, which received a total of 10,963 responses from 128 countries.

The best-represented topic was clinical and health (accounting for 16.3 percent of responses), followed by engineering (15.8 percent), life sciences (14.9 percent) and physical sciences ( 14.2 percent). Computer sciences (9.8%), business and economics (8.2%), arts and letters (7.7%) and social sciences (7.5%) were also well represented. The rest of the responses came from psychology (2.8%), education (2.2%) and law (0.6%).

However, to ensure that the ranking is representative of the global distribution of academics, THEIts data team rebalanced the weights to a fixed benchmark. These were as follows: physical sciences (14.6%), clinical and health (14.5%), life sciences (13.4%), business and economics (13.1%), engineering (12 , 7%), arts and humanities (12.5%), social sciences (8.9%), computer science (4.2%), education (2.6%), psychology (2 , 6%) and the right (0.9%).

We also maintained an equitable distribution of survey responses between regions. In total, 39.1% of the responses came from the Asia-Pacific region. The rest of the responses break down as follows: Western Europe represents 24.3%, North America 21.7%, Eastern Europe 6.3%, Latin America 4.2%, Middle Orient 2.4% and Africa 2%. When countries were over-represented or under-represented, THEThe data team weighted the responses to more accurately reflect the actual geographic distribution of academics based on UN data.

In the survey, academics are questioned on the level of their specific discipline. They are not asked to create a ranking themselves or to list a wide range of institutions; they only name a maximum of 15 universities which they consider to be the best in each category (research and teaching).

The survey data will be used with 11 objective indicators to help create the THE World University Ranking 2022, to be released in September 2021.

The Reputation Table ranks institutions based on an aggregate measure of their esteem that combines data on their reputation for research and teaching.

The two scores are combined in a ratio of 2: 1, giving more weight to the research as our expert advisors have suggested that there is greater confidence in the ability of respondents to make accurate judgments about the quality of the research. research.

Scores are based on the number of times a facility is cited by respondents as being one of the best in their field. The number one establishment is the one that is selected the most often and receives a score of 100. The scores for all other establishments in the table are expressed as a percentage of that establishment’s score. This scoring system, different from that used in the THE World University Rankings, is intended to give a clearer and more meaningful perspective on reputation data in isolation.

The top 200 universities by reputation will be listed for the second year, up from 100 in 2019. THE decided to only score the top 50 because the gaps between establishments after this point become narrow. The establishments that make up the second quarter of the table will be classified in groups of 10, in alphabetical order, while the establishments in the second half of the table will be classified in groups of 25. The number in each group may vary due to certain establishments in the region. thresholds with the same scores.


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