There are several institutions that conduct rankings of higher education facilities and universities worldwide on an annual basis. A high degree of importance is attached to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, which is released by the Times Higher Education magazine once a year. While from 2004 to 2009 the ranking was conducted in partnership with Quacquarelli Symonds, a new and more effective ranking model was introduced in 2010, involving the collaboration with Thomson Reuters. To carry out the ranking, thirteen indicators are taken into account:
The Times Higher Education ranking is frequently compared to the Academic Ranking of World Universities and the QS World University Rankings. Depicted below is the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Ranking.
According to Times Higher Education, its methodology is “robust, transparent and sophisticated“. Critics, on the other hand, consider rankings done by Times Higher Education to be problematic, inappropriate and insufficiently comprehensive given that not every university uses English as principal language, which according to critics is a discrimination of those institutions at the international level. Another point of focus of Times Higher Education lies in institutions that teach “hard science“, thus often discriminating higher education institutions teaching subjects relating to social sciences and humanities.
Also, it remains uncertain what target group the ranking is supposed to address. For most students are not interested in pursueing an academic career at university. What is more, educatin costs do not have any impact on the ranking. This, for instance, makes it impossible to compare US universities to European universities, especially taking into consideration that many European universities traditionally offer their education services for free.