2015 QS index shows Dutch university rankings by subject

2015 QS index shows Dutch university rankings by subject

British publisher QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) has released the 2015 edition of its World University Rankings by Subject.

The main publication brought out by QS, the comprehensive World University Rankings, is the most widely-read university comparison index.

For the rankings by subject, analysts based comparisons on three factors: a university’s academic reputation in a given field, research impact and employer reputation. The results are intended as a guide to help international students choose study destinations.

Dutch top scorers

Though only one Dutch university - the University of Amsterdam - cracked the top 50 in the latest version of the comprehensive index, several institutions in the Netherlands achieved high standings in the subject-specific version.

Dutch excel in economics, business, medicine

Of all the subject categories profiled, Dutch universities fared the best in economics and econometrics. The University of Tilburg placed 37th in this category, with Erasmus University Rotterdam and Amsterdam University not far behind at 40th and 41st place, respectively.

The Universities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam both placed in the top 100 for business and medicine.

TU Delft scores especially well

Due to the strong success of two of its programs, the Delft University of Technology is the highest-rated Dutch university in any subject category.

TU Delft’s architecture program placed third in its category, while its civil and structural engineering program rose from 14th in 2014 to second in the world.

Ranking criteria

The universities ranked in the index are assigned scores in multiple categories, weighted according to discipline, which are then amalgamated to determine an overall score.

For the Academic Reputation category, survey respondents, identified as experts in a particular academic field, are asked to name the regional institutions (aside from their own) they view as leaders in that field.

QS is unique among university rankings for its incorporation of Employer Reputation as a category. This is based on the intersection of two survey questions posed to employers: from which domestic and international universities they prefer to recruit graduates, and from which disciplines.

The final category, Research Impact, is measured by looking at the number of times a faculty member’s paper is cited, using a minimum publication threshold to keep results proportional.


Emily McCallum


Emily McCallum

Emily grew up in a small coastal town in western Canada and moved to Utrecht in 2014, after completing her studies in Vancouver and Germany. So far, she has been...

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