In the World University Rankings from Times Higher Education, the year’s third major university rankings, ETH Zurich achieved 13th place, tied with UC Berkeley. Last year, ETH was ranked 11th. As in previous years, the University of Oxford took the top spot. ETH Zurich was once again ranked as the best university in continental Europe. The THE rankings place particular weight on the categories of teaching, research and citations, each counting for 30 percent. While ETH improved its ranking by two places in the area of research, its decline in citations led to a slightly lower overall ranking.
“Our strategy is derived from our federal mandate to conduct fundamental research, train specialists and transfer new knowledge to the economy and society,” said ETH President Joël Mesot of the ranking, adding that under these circumstances, it’s a huge achievement that ETH continues to rank among the world’s best universities.
ETH has remained highly ranked for years
In the two other major university rankings – the Shanghai and QS rankings – ETH was able to maintain or improve its position: in the QS rankings, it moved up one position to 6th place, while in the Shanghai ranking, it has been in 19th place for the past four years.
The rankings consider different topics in their evaluations, as well as weighting them differently. THE and QS consider indicators for teaching (e.g. staff-student ratio) and for research (e.g. publications), and financial and staffing resources. These are then combined into an overall ranking for each university. Their methods typically include surveys: industry representatives, students and researchers are asked questions to assess which universities – excluding their own – are among the leaders in their field.
In contrast, the Shanghai Ranking focuses entirely on research. Universities are ranked on characteristics such as scientific awards (Nobel Prizes and other awards) and frequently cited publications.