Ranking of Universities in the EU, 2020

*This ranking is for the year 2020. See the newest, 2021, ranking here: https://snmcgannon.com/2021/10/30/ranking-of-universities-in-the-european-union-2021/

RankInstitutionARWUQSTHEUSNWRAverage World Rank
1LMU Munich ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช 5163324648
2Heidelberg University ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช 5764425454.25
3Technical University of Munich ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช 5450417655.25
4University of Copenhagen ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ 3376843456.75
5Sorbonne University ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท 3983874363
6University of Amsterdam ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ 10161664067
7Katholieke Universiteit Leuven ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช 9784454868.5
8Utrecht University ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ 52121755475.5
9University of Helsinki ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ 74104988690.5
10Leiden University ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ 80128708691
11University of Groningen ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ 69128809292.25
12Ghent University ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช 661351038597.25
13Wageningen University & Research ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ 1511156283102.75
14Uppsala University ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช 77124111101103.25
15Erasmus University Rotterdam ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ801977268104.25
16Aarhus University ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ69147106105106.75
17Lund University ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช 1519710399112.5
18Delft University of Technology ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ1515778172114.5
19University of Freiburg ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช 10117583168131.75
20Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ10123611680133.25

This is a ranking of the top 20 universities in the European Union ranked relative to each other by average world rank for the year 2020-2021. 

The ranking was created by using metadata sourced from the four prominent rankings of world universities (each ranking released in 2020): Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Times Higher Education (THE), and U.S. News & World Report (USNWR).

Rank was checked on each list for every EU university ranked on each of the lists. Then, for each university, all its rank placements were averaged across lists to create the new list of average ranking for each university. The universities were then ranked according to their average ranking. The university with the highest average is thus ranked 1st, the one with the second highest average 2nd, and so on. 

Finally, the results were tabled, as shown above. The leftmost column shows the final rank (which is relative placement based on average rank, i.e.), the โ€œinstitutionโ€ column shows the institution ranked along with the flag of the country in which it is located, the next four rightward columns (ARWU, QS, THE, USNWR) show the rank for each given institution in each of those selected world rankings, and the rightmost column (โ€œAverage World Rankโ€) averages the four ranking listsโ€™ rank placement for each university. 

There were 4 institutions which were ranked on three of the four lists which averaged higher (by those three lists) than at least one university which was ranked having been averaged by all four lists. In some cases, had these averages remained given all four lists, the list would look significantly different. Further details:

  • Karolinska Institute ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช (43 average; unranked by QS) would have placed 1st.
  • Paris Sciences et Lettres University (PSL) ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท (~45 average; unranked USNWR) would have placed 2nd (counting Karolinska). (UPDATE: see * below for further evaluation.)
  • Humboldt University of Berlin ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช (93 average; unranked by ARWU โ€” find further discussion about why that is here) would have placed 14 (counting Karolinska and PSL).
  • Free University of Berlin ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช (~120 average; unranked by ARWU โ€” find further discussion about why that is via the same link as for Humboldt) would not have placed in the top 20 counting the three institutions above, however, its average is higher than those universities currently placing 19th and 20th (Freiburg and VU Amsterdam, respectively).

Additionally, one institution โ€” Charitรฉ – Universitรคtsmedizin Berlin ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช โ€” was ranked such that it would have appeared in the top 20 (given the above additions: 10th), however, this was only based on its placement of 75 on a single ranking (THE).

Finally, some observations about the final ranking โ€”

  • Netherlands has the most intuitions in the top 20 in the EU, with 8.
  • Germany has the second most, with 4, and the Nordic countries together have 5.
  • Belgium and France are the only two countries with at least one university which makes the list outside of the aforementioned regions.
  • The top 12 universities in the EU all average within the top 100 in the world.

If anything appears to be in error, please email me at tuulifunctional@snmcgannon.com.

* Since creating this list I’ve written an article looking at how USNWR ranks PSL constituents. Ultimately, based on the average of those constituents, PSL’s ranking would place outside the 20 appearing on this list. There are many caveats to this outcome, however. The full article can be found here.

Permalink to this article: https://snmcgannon.com/2021/04/08/ranking-of-universities-in-the-eu-2020-21/

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