Leiden falls out of top 100 while Utrecht clings on to top spot in Shanghai Ranking

Leiden falls out of top 100 while Utrecht clings on to top spot in Shanghai Ranking

2022 sees Utrecht University (UU) claim the top spot in the Netherlands in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), for the 20th year in a row. While two other Dutch universities managed to secure spots in the global top 100, this year saw Leiden University drop several places and fall out of the top 100. 

2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities 

Established in 2003 by the Centre for World-Class Universities (CWCU), the ARWU - dubbed the Shanghai Ranking - uses six objective indicators to review over 2.500 universities every year in order to determine the top 1.000 educational institutions around the world:

  • Number of highly cited researchers
  • Number of papers published in Nature and Science
  • Number of papers indexed in the Science Citation Index, Expanded and Social Science Citation Index
  • Number of alumni winning Field Medals and Nobel Prizes
  • Number of staff winning Field Medals and Nobel Prizes
  • The per capita academic performance of an institution

Once again, the top 10 of this year’s ranking is dominated by universities and colleges in the United States and United Kingdom, with Harvard University claiming the top spot for the 20th time. In continental Europe, Paris-Saclay University beat out steep competition to nab the number one spot, coming in 16th place overall, with runner-up ETH Zurich - which is regularly regarded as one of Europe’s best universities - coming in 20th place.

Utrecht, Groningen and Rotterdam make top 100 in Shanghai Ranking

Utrecht University consistently manages to nab a spot in the top 55 universities in the world - and this year is no different. UU claims 54th place in the 2022 Shanghai Ranking, marking a slight drop since last year. Once again, the ranking highlighted UU’s best-ranked subjects, which include public administration, geography, oceanography, education, and pharmaceutical sciences.

While Utrecht remains the champion, it isn’t the only Dutch city with a world-class university. The university in Groningen also managed to hold on to its place in the top 100, coming in second place behind Utrecht and 66th place overall. Meanwhile, Erasmus University in Rotterdam climbed several places to reclaim a spot in the top 100, and was named the 87th best university in the world. 

In more disappointing news, Leiden University fell from 83rd position in 2021 into the 101 - 150 category, meaning it no longer qualities as one of the top 100 universities in the world. 

Ranking the 13 universities in the Netherlands

All 13 universities in the Netherlands featured in this year’s Shanghai Ranking, with nine securing a place in the top 200:

  • 54. Utrecht University 
  • 66. University of Groningen 
  • 87. Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • 101-150. Leiden University
  • 101-150. Radboud University Nijmegen
  • 101-150. University of Amsterdam
  • 151-200. Delft University of Technology
  • 151-200. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • 151-200. Wageningen University & Research
  • 201-300. Maastricht University
  • 301-400. Eindhoven University of Technology
  • 401-500. University of Twente 
  • 601-700. Tilburg University

For more information about the ranking, visit the ARWU website.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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