Dutch universities rise sharply in Times University Rankings

Dutch universities rise sharply in Times University Rankings

The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2015-2016 include 13 Dutch universities, the same amount as last year, but most have steeply risen in the ranks.

THE World University Rankings are considered the only global performance tables that judge research-intensive universities across all their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The results are based on 13 performance indicators grouped into five categories: teaching (30 percent), research (30 percent), citations (30 percent), international outlook (7,5 percent) and industry income (2,5 percent). The categories look into the learning environment, research volume and reputation, research influence, international staff and students and knowledge transfer.

8 Dutch universities in top 100

A total of eight Dutch universities are listed in the top 100, of which Wageningen UR is the highest ranked at 47th, 26 places up from last year. 

THE Dutch University Rankings 2015-2016

University 2015 rank 2014 rank
Wageningen UR =47 73
University of Amsterdam 58 77
Utrecht University 62 79
Delft University  =65 71
Leiden University 67 64
Erasmus University 71 72
University of Groningen 74 117
Maastricht University =88 101
Radboud University =125 140
University of Twente =149 201-225
VU University 154 136
Eindhoven University =176 144
Tilburg University 201-250 276-300

Rapidly rising

As well as Wageningen UR, most other Dutch universities experienced a sharp rise in the ranks. Most notably, University of Groningen moved up to 74th position (+43), University of Amsterdam from 77th to 58th place and Utrecht University increased from 79th position to 62nd.

On the other hand, three Dutch universities experienced a fall in rankings. Leiden University fell from 64th to 67th position. Eindhoven University Technology dropped 32 places to 176th in the ranking, and VU University from 136th position to 154th.

Eindhoven University Technology and VU University did, however, score highest out of Dutch universities in the citations category.

Dutch universities score high in citations

Citations looks at the universities’ role in spreading new knowledge and ideas. To rank this, a record of the number of times a university’s published work is cited by scholars globally is examined.

Overall the universities scored best in the areas of citation and industry income. However, citations make up 30 percent of the score, affecting the overall ranking more.

Knowledge transfer

Although industry income makes up only 2,5 percent of the overall score, all Dutch universities scored highly in this area, with Wageningen UR and Delft scoring 100 in the category. Followed shortly by Maastricht University and University of Twente, which scored 95,4 and 91,2 respectively.

The industry income category seeks to capture knowledge-transfer activity by looking at how much research income an institution earns from industry, scaled against the number of academic staff it employs.

The category suggests the extent to which businesses are willing to pay for research, and a university’s ability to attract funding, in the commercial marketplace.

Global outlook

In a repeat of last year, the latest THE World University Rankings is headed by California Institute of Technology (Caltech, USA), followed by Oxford University (UK) and Stanford University (USA) in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

THE World University Rankings top 10

University Rank
California Institute of Technology 1
University of Oxford 2
Stanford University 3
University of Cambridge 4
Harvard University 6
Princeton University 7
Imperial College London 8
ETH Zurich 9
University of Chicago 10
Parvinder Marwaha


Parvinder Marwaha

British-born editor Parvinder studied architecture in the UK. Amsterdam’s architecture and design scene led her to the city, as well the obvious perks of canal-side living. She writes for various...

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