Why we have selected the Universities we are featuring on the site.
We are not suggesting these UK universities are the only ones you should consider, but we are aiming to highlight those universities that currently rank highest, as evaluated by recognised international ranking systems and by students themselves.
We feature all UK universities that have been ranked for 2 years or more within the Times Higher Education World Top 500 rankings and all universities featured within the Shanghai Jaio Tong rankings.
Why do we feature the Times Higher Education and Shanghai Jaio Tong rankings?
There are other excellent ranking systems available. We specifically selected the Times and Shanghai Jaio Tong, as they offered the following;
- A Genuine International Outlook – The Times rankings are developed in UK, but obviously the Shanghai rankings are compiled in China.
- Excellent International Reputation – The rankings are often cited by universities on their own web sites.
- Methodology – Both review all research led universities across the globe each year, with rigorous measurement systems.
Additionally, the rankings do offer a different perspective; by either weighting criteria differently or looking at different criteria altogether.
- The Times rankings have a strong focus on research output across subjects.
- The Shanghai rankings have a strong, specific focus on STEM subjects and rank Nobel nominations/awards in these areas very highly.
In this way the rankings of both organisations offer something quite different and complementary.
Times Higher Education Rankings
These rankings review all research led universities across the globe and evaluate them across all their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer.
Specifically, they measure 13 performance indicators grouped into 5 areas;
Teaching – Learned Environment – 30% of the overall ranking.
Research – Volume, Income Generated from Research – 30% of the overall ranking
Citations – Research Influence – 30% of the overall ranking
Industry Income – 2.5% of the overall ranking
International Outlook – of staff, students & research – 7.5% of the overall ranking.
Shanghai Jaio Tong Rankings
The universities selected for analysis in the Shanghai ranking list are compared and evaluated on the basis of six quantitative indicators. The criteria and their relative weight show the emphasis placed on research: each of the following two criteria account for 20%: “quality of staff” and “research output”. “Quality of education” and “size of institution” each accounts for 10%. For each indicator, the highest scoring institution is assigned a score of 100. The remaining institutions are calculated as a percentage of the top score. Scores for each indicator are weighted as shown below to arrive at a final overall score for the institution.
Quality of Education
– Number of alumni earning a nobel prize or a Fields medal in Maths – 10% of overall ranking.
Quality of Staff
– Number of researchers who earned a Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, medicine or economics and/or the Fields Medal in mathematics – 20% of total ranking.
– Number of highly cited researchers in the fields of life science, medicine, physics, engineering and social sciences – 20% of total ranking.
– Number of articles published in Nature and Science – 20% of total ranking.
– Number of articles listed in Thompson Scientific’s Science Citation Index Expanded and its Social Sciences Citation Index – 20% of total ranking.
Size of the Institution
– The weighted score of the above five indicators divided by the number of full-time equivalent academic staff. If the number of academic staff for institutions of a country cannot be obtained, the weighted scores of the above five indicators is used – 10% of the total ranking.
In addition, we also highlight all the Universities that are members of the Russell Group of universities in the UK. All members of the Russell Group are featured in both the Times and Shanghai rankings.
For more information, please visit the Russell Group page.
National Student Survey
We also feature the annual results of the National Student Survey within the ranking section of each university profile.
The Survey asks 23 questions related to 6 aspects of student’s learning experience and also includes 1 question about student’s overall satisfaction level. Typically over 250,000 students take part in the Survey each year and it is mainly aimed at students in their final year of undergraduate study. The Survey is conducted independently on behalf of the UK Higher Education Funding bodies.