The Most Reliable University Ranking, Ranked

Choose the university ranking you think is the most reliable!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 22, 2024 06:59
Deciding on a university is a significant step, influenced heavily by various university rankings. However, with numerous rankings available, each with its own criteria and biases, it can be challenging for students and parents to identify which rankings are the most trustworthy. This necessitates a clearer system to ascertain which rankings reliably reflect educational quality and student satisfaction. Here, you have the power to influence which university rankings are perceived as the most credible. By casting your vote, you contribute to a live, community-driven ranking of rankings. This system provides a unique opportunity for users to express which criteria they believe are most important in evaluating universities, helping others by providing insights into the most esteemed rankings according to collective user opinion.

What Is the Most Reliable University Ranking?

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    QS World University Rankings
    Hayatiar · CC BY-SA 4.0

    QS World University Rankings

    Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)
    QS rankings are widely regarded as the most reliable university rankings. The ranking methodology is based on academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio, and international student ratio. It also provides subject-wise rankings.
    The QS World University Rankings is a comprehensive ranking system that assesses the performance of universities around the world. It provides an evaluation of universities through a range of indicators, allowing students, academics, employers, and policymakers to make informed decisions.
    • Global coverage: Includes universities from all regions of the world.
    • Ranking criteria: Combines factors like academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, student-to-faculty ratio, and international diversity.
    • Data sources: Relies on surveys, institutional data, and bibliometric data from sources like Scopus.
    • Weighting: Assigns different weights to each indicator to calculate an overall score.
    • Transparency: Provides detailed information on methodology and data sources used.
    QS World University Rankings in other rankings
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    THE rankings are another widely respected university ranking system. It uses the same criteria as QS, but also includes research income and research reputation.
    The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an annual ranking system that measures the performance of universities worldwide. It is considered one of the most reliable university ranking systems in the UK and globally.
    • Global Coverage: Ranks universities worldwide
    • Objectivity: Uses a robust methodology based on various key performance indicators
    • Reputation: Includes a reputation survey among academics and employers
    • Teaching: Evaluates the learning environment, resources, and student-to-faculty ratio
    • Research: Assesses research output, funding, and impact
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings in other rankings
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    Shanghai Ranking is a more research-focused ranking system that takes into account the number of Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, and highly cited researchers at each institution.
    The Shanghai Ranking, also known as the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), is a ranking system that evaluates global universities based on several criteria.
    • Publication: Annual
    • Year Started: 2003
    • Number of Universities Ranked: More than 1,000
    • Focus: Research performance and academic prestige
    • Criteria: Quality of faculty, alumni, and research output
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    This ranking system is widely used in the United States and takes into account research performance, global and regional reputation, and international collaboration.
    The US News & World Report Best Global Universities Rankings is an annual ranking system that ranks universities from around the world based on various factors and indicators. It aims to provide a comprehensive and objective assessment of the top global universities.
    • Methodology: Uses a combination of indicators including global research reputation, regional research reputation, publications, conference papers, normalized citation impact, total citations, international collaboration, and number of highly cited papers.
    • Scope: Covers universities from all regions worldwide.
    • Number of Universities Ranked: Over 1,500 universities are ranked.
    • Geographic Coverage: Includes universities from over 80 countries.
    • Subject Areas: Covers various academic disciplines and subject areas.
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    CWUR is a ranking system that focuses on the quality of education and faculty, alumni employment, and research performance.
    CWUR World University Rankings is a global ranking of universities compiled by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR). It aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of the quality of education and research provided by universities worldwide.
    • Number of Universities: Top 2,000 universities
    • Methodology: Based on quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, research output, quality publications, influence, citations, broad impact
    • Global Coverage: Universities from all over the world
    • Transparency: Publicly available methodology and data sources
    • Frequency: Annually
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    Webometrics rankings focus on the web presence and impact of universities, taking into account factors such as web traffic, social media presence, and the number of citations in Google Scholar.
    The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities is a ranking system that measures the performance and web presence of universities worldwide. It provides information on the visibility and impact of universities on the web, considering factors such as the number of web pages, web citations, and external links associated with each institution.
    • Global Scope: It covers universities from all over the world to provide a comprehensive ranking.
    • Web Presence: It focuses on the online presence and impact of universities.
    • Size and Visibility: It considers the number of web pages associated with each institution and their visibility.
    • Web Impact: It measures the scholarly impact of universities on the web through web citations.
    • External Links: It assesses the number and quality of external links pointing to universities' web pages.
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    URAP is a ranking system that takes into account research performance, academic productivity, and international collaboration. It also provides subject-wise rankings.
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    Leiden ranking focuses on research performance, taking into account the number of publications, citations, and collaborations with other institutions. It also provides subject-wise rankings.
    The Leiden Ranking is a university ranking system that focuses on the scientific performance of institutions worldwide. It evaluates universities based on their scientific research output and impact.
    • Coverage: Global
    • Indicator: Scientific research output and impact
    • Data source: Web of Science
    • Time coverage: 5 years
    • Publication output: Total number of publications and top 1% highly cited publications
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    This ranking system focuses on research output and citation impact, and takes into account the number of highly cited papers and the number of papers published in top journals.
    The Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities is a ranking system that evaluates the scientific research performance of universities worldwide.
    • Publication Performance: Evaluates the number and impact of scientific publications produced by universities.
    • International Collaboration: Assesses the level of international collaboration in research publications.
    • Research Productivity: Measures the amount of research output in terms of publications.
    • Research Impact: Examines the citations received by the publications, indicating their influence and impact in the scientific community.
    • Research Excellence: Recognizes the quality of publications based on their citation records.
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    U-Multirank provides a comprehensive ranking system that takes into account a wide range of factors such as teaching quality, research performance, knowledge transfer, and international orientation. It also provides subject-wise rankings.
    U-Multirank is a multidimensional ranking system that assesses universities based on multiple performance indicators across various domains.
    • Number of institutions ranked: Over 1,600
    • Indicator categories: Teaching & Learning, Research, Knowledge Transfer, International Orientation, Regional Engagement
    • Indicator subcategories: e.g., Graduation Rate, Student Mobility, Research Output, Income from Private Sources, Collaborative Publications
    • Transparency: Provides detailed results for each indicator and allows customization based on user preferences
    • User-driven approach: Allows users to define their own personalized ranking based on their priorities

Missing your favorite university ranking?


Ranking factors for reliable university ranking

  1. Transparency
    The ranking methodology should be transparent and clearly explained to ensure fairness and accuracy.
  2. Objectivity
    The ranking should be unbiased and not influenced by any external factors such as funding or politics.
  3. Data Quality
    The ranking should be based on reliable and consistent data sources that are verified and up-to-date.
  4. Diversity
    The ranking should include a range of universities from different countries and regions, as well as from different fields of study.
  5. Consistency
    The ranking should be consistent over time to allow for valid comparisons between universities.
  6. Peer Review
    The ranking should undergo peer review by experts in the field to ensure its reliability and validity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most reliable university ranking. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Ranking is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 187 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Ranking once every 24 hours. The rank of each Ranking is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most reliable university ranking

When it comes to choosing a university, many students and parents turn to university rankings as a way to gauge the quality and reputation of different institutions. However, with so many different ranking systems out there, it can be difficult to know which ones are most reliable. One of the most well-known university ranking systems is the QS World University Rankings, which assesses universities based on factors such as academic reputation, employer reputation, research impact, and internationalization. Another popular ranking system is the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which takes into account factors such as teaching, research, citations, industry income, and international outlook. While these rankings can be useful for gaining a general idea of a university's standing, it's important to remember that no ranking system is perfect. Different ranking systems may use different criteria or weights for different factors, which can lead to different results. Additionally, rankings may not take into account factors that are important to individual students, such as location, campus culture, or extracurricular activities. Ultimately, the best way to choose a university is to do your own research and consider a variety of factors beyond just rankings. Talk to current students, visit campuses, and consider your own personal preferences and goals.

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