The QS University Ranking 2011 is out. Not much
has changed at the top with American and English universities
dominating the upper ranks. Cambridge University maintains its top
position followed by Harvard, Yale, University College London and
Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden in Top 100
Continental Europe is represented by the Swiss ETH Zurich on
place 18 and École Normale Supérieure, Paris on place 33. Germany,
neighbor of the Netherlands and Europe's biggest HE market,
features Heidelberg University (53), and TU Munich (54).
In the Netherlands, University of Amsterdam scores highest and
ends up on the 63rd rank (down from 56 in 2010). Next in
line are Utrecht (80), Leiden (88) and Erasmus University Rotterdam
(103). TU Eindhoven which scored place 126 last year fell behind on
Recognition of tuition fee hikes
For the first time, QS published tuition fees alongside the
ranking. "Students are generally being charged more than ever
before for their education" after widespread tuition fee hikes in a number of countries said
Nunzio Quacquarelli, QS managing director.
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) based its ranking on surveys from
33.000 academics from 141 countries and included 3.000 institutions
in its research. QS used to publish its rankings jointly with Times
Higher Education (THE), but split from THE in 2010 over
disagreements in methodology. THE is set to publish its rankings in
one month from now.
From Shanghai to Germany
The Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities
(ARWU) published its 2011 ranking last month. According to ARWU,
Utrecht University (48) is the best university in the Netherlands
followed by Leiden on place 65.
The German higher education think tank, CHE,
released its 2011 ranking as well. CHE, however, judges each
university according to their discipline and does not publish a
general list. Overall however, Maastricht scores high in a number of
Doubts over added value of rankings
QS, Shanghai and THE ranking have been heavily criticized in the
past for their methodology. The European University lobby, EUA
(European University Association), pointed out that "present
rankings favour large research intensive institutions… [However,]
it is clear that despite their shortcomings, rankings are here to
To tackle methodology issues and establish a reliable
international ranking, the European Union worked out a
multidimensional university ranking, U-Multirank.
This project, however, is still a work in progress and a decision
over whether it will be continued will fall early 2012.