Dutch universities in the top 100 of the Shanghai Ranking

Dutch universities in the top 100 of the Shanghai Ranking

Are you studying in the Netherlands? Well, you could be studying at one of the top 100 universities in the world. The universities in the Netherlands have done well in the Shanghai Ranking this year, with four making it into the top 100.


Recently, the Centre for World-Class Universities (CWCU) at Shanghai Jiao Tong University released the latest figures from the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The ARWU is more commonly known as the Shanghai Ranking. Each year 1.200 universities are reviewed and the top 500 are published.

The ARWU focuses on six factors when assessing universities:        

  • Number of highly cited researchers
  • Number of articles published in the journals of Nature and Science
  • Number of articles indexed in the Science Citation Index, Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index
  • Number of alumni winning Field Medals and Nobel Prizes
  • Number of staff winning Field Medals and Nobel Prizes
  • The per capita performance of a university

Four Dutch Universities in the top 100  

Last year only three Dutch universities made it into the top 100. However, this year the universities in the Netherlands have made a comeback with higher scores than in previous years.

Similarly to 2015 and 2016, the Netherlands has kept the number of universities in the ranking at a constant, with 12 universities achieving a place in the top 500.

Utrecht University has climbed the ranks and takes the first place in the Netherlands (again) and ranks 47th in the ARWU. This is 18 places higher than in 2016, and also means that Utrecht University can celebrate being the best Dutch university for the 15th year in a row.

The University of Groningen comes in second at number 59 in the rankings. Again, this is a significant jump of 13 places. Erasmus University rises above Leiden University and takes its place at number 73. Last year it only ranked in the top 101-150. Lastly, Leiden University comes in at number 88, five places higher than in 2016.

Top Dutch Universities in 2017

Take a look at the Dutch universities who achieved a place in the top 500 universities worldwide.

World rank Institution NL rank
47 Utrecht University 1
59 University of Groningen 2
73 Erasmus University 3
88 Leiden University 4
101-150 Radboud University Nijmegen 5-8
101-150 University of Amsterdam 5-8
101-150 University of Wageningen 5-8
101-150 VU University Amsterdam 5-8
151-200 Delft University of Technology 9
201-300 Maastricht University 10
301-400 Eindhoven University of Technology 11-12
301-400 University of Twente 11-12

* Institutions within the same rank range are listed alphabetically

Top 10 universities

The USA takes the lead with eight universities in the top 10 and Harvard at number one. The UK also ranks highly, with Cambridge and Oxford University making it into the 10 best universities worldwide.

World rank Country Institution
1 USA Harvard University
2 USA Stanford University
3 UK University of Cambridge
4 USA Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
5 USA University of California, Berkeley
6 USA Princeton University
7 UK University of Oxford
8 USA Columbia University
9 USA California Institute of Technology
10 USA University of Chicago

Top European Universities

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich takes the top place in Europe at number 19 in the Shanghai Ranking. Denmark follows, with the University of Copenhagen taking 30th place. Pierre and Marie Curie University and University of Paris-Sud in France place 40th and 41st respectively.

For more figures visit

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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