|Publisher||Shanghai Ranking Consultancy (2009–present)|
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2003–2008)
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Language||English & Chinese|
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Ranking, is one of the annual publications of world university rankings. The league table was originally compiled and issued by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2003, making it the first global university ranking with multifarious indicators.
Since 2009, ARWU has been published and copyrighted annually by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, an organization focusing on higher education that is not legally subordinated to any universities or government agencies. In 2011, a board of international advisory consisting of scholars and policy researchers was established to provide suggestions. The publication currently includes global league tables for institutions as a whole and for a selection of individual subjects, alongside independent regional Greater China Ranking and Macedonian HEIs Ranking.
ARWU is regarded as one of the three most influential and widely observed university rankings, alongside QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It has received positive feedback for its objectivity and methodology, but draws wide criticism as it fails to adjust for the size of the institution, and thus larger institutions tend to rank above smaller ones.
|Quality of education||Alumni as Nobel laureates & Fields Medalists||Alumni||10%||Official websites of Nobel Laureates & Fields Medalists[Note 1]|
|Quality of faculty||Staff as Nobel Laureates & Fields Medalists||Award||20%||Official websites of Nobel Laureates & Fields Medalists[Note 1]|
|Highly cited researchers in 21 broad subject categories||HiCi||20%||Thomson Reuters' survey of highly cited researchers[Note 1]|
|Research output||Papers published in Nature and Science[* 1]||N&S||20%||Citation index|
|Papers indexed in Science Citation Index-expanded and Social Science Citation Index||PUB||20%|
|Per capita performance||Per capita academic performance of an institution||PCP||10%||-|
EU Research Headlines reported the ARWU's work on 31 December 2003: "The universities were carefully evaluated using several indicators of research performance." A survey on higher education published by The Economist in 2005 commented ARWU as "the most widely used annual ranking of the world's research universities." In 2010, The Chronicle of Higher Education called ARWU "the best-known and most influential global ranking of universities" and Philip G. Altbach named ARWU's 'consistency, clarity of purpose, and transparency' as significant strengths. University of Oxford Chancellor Chris Patten has said "the methodology looks fairly solid ... it looks like a pretty good stab at a fair comparison." While ARWU has originated in China, the ranking have been praised for being unbiased towards Asian institutions, especially Chinese institutions.
The ranking has been criticised for "relying too much on award factors" thus undermining the importance of quality of instruction and humanities. A 2007 paper published in the journal Scientometrics found that the results from the Shanghai rankings could not be reproduced from raw data using the method described by Liu and Cheng. A 2013 paper in the same journal finally showed how the Shanghai ranking results could be reproduced. In a report from April 2009, J-C. Billaut, D. Bouyssou and Ph. Vincke analyse how the ARWU works, using their insights as specialists of Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM). Their main conclusions are that the criteria used are not relevant; that the aggregation methodology has a number of major problems; and that insufficient attention has been paid to fundamental choices of criteria.
The ARWU researchers themselves, N.C. Liu and Y. Cheng, think that the quality of universities cannot be precisely measured by mere numbers and any ranking must be controversial. They suggest that university and college rankings should be used with caution and their methodologies must be understood clearly before reporting or using the results. ARWU has been criticised by the European Commission as well as some EU member states for "favour[ing] Anglo-Saxon higher education institutions". For instance, ARWU is repeatedly criticised in France, where it triggers an annual controversy, focusing on its ill-adapted character to the French academic system and the unreasonable weight given to research often performed decades ago. It is also criticised in France for its use as a motivation for merging universities into larger ones.
Indeed, a further criticism has been that the metrics used are not independent of university size, e.g. number of publications or award winners will mechanically add as universities are grouped, independently of research (or teaching) quality; thus a merger between two equally-ranked institutions will significantly increase the merged institutions’ score and give it a higher ranking, without any change in quality.
There are two categories in ARWU's disciplinary rankings: broad subject fields and specific subjects. The methodology is similar to that adopted in the overall table, including award factors, paper citation, and the number of highly cited scholars.
Considering the development of specific areas, two independent regional league tables with different methodologies were launched – Ranking of Top Universities in Greater China and Best Chinese Universities Ranking.
Best Chinese Universities Ranking was first released in 2015.
Ranking of Top Universities in Greater China was first released in 2011.
|Education||Percentage of graduate students||5%|
|Percentage of non-local students||5%|
|Ratio of academic staff to students||5%|
|Doctoral degrees awarded||10%|
|Alumni as Nobel Laureates & Fields Medalists||10%|
|Research||Annual research income||5%|
|Nature & Science Papers||10%|
|SCIE & SSCI papers||10%|
|Faculty||Percentage of academic staff with a doctoral degree||5%|
|Staff as Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists||10%|
|Highly cited researchers||10%|
The first international rankings, the Academic Ranking of World Universities or Shanghai Rankings
Since 2009 the Academic Ranking of World Universities has been published and copyrighted by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy.
France's higher education minister travelled to Jiaotong University's suburban campus last month to discuss the rankings, the Norwegian education minister came last year and the Danish minister is due to visit next month.; The idea for the rankings was born in 1998, when Beijing decreed China needed several world-leading universities.
Those two, as well as Shanghai Jiao Tong University, produce the most influential international university rankings out there
There are currently three major international rankings that receive widespread commentary: The Academic World Ranking of Universities, the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education Rankings.
The major international rankings have appeared in recent months — the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the QS World University Rankings, and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE).
ARWU presents a further data issue. Whereas in the case of the other rankings the results are adjusted to take account of the size of institutions, hardly any such adjustment is made by ARWU. So there is a distortion in favour of large institutions. If two institutions were to merge, the very fact of merger would mean that the merged institution would do nearly twice as well as either of the individual institutions prior to merger, although nothing else had changed.
It is no accident that the most widely used annual ranking of the world's research universities, the Shanghai index, is produced by a Chinese university.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which produces the best-known and most influential global ranking of universities...
Nonetheless, AWRU's consistency, clarity of purpose, and transparency are significant advantages.
It is a remarkably stable list, relying on long-term factors such as the number of Nobel Prize-winners a university has produced, and number of articles published in Nature and Science journals. But with this narrow focus comes drawbacks. China's priority was for its universities to 'catch up' on hard scientific research. So if you're looking for raw research power, it's the list for you. If you're a humanities student, or more interested in teaching quality? Not so much.