More Dutch universities in top 100 Shanghai Ranking

More Dutch universities in top 100 Shanghai Ranking

Universities in the Netherlands have ranked stronger than ever, with four higher education institutions in the top 100 of the annual Shanghai Ranking.

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) for 2014 was recently released by the centre for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Also known as the Shanghai Ranking, the ARWU has been annually rating the world’s top 500 universities since 2003.

Top 10 universities in USA and UK

The list is traditionally dominated by American universities, with Harvard University retaining its place as number one for the 12th year running. The top 10 universities comprise of eight American universities and two British universities: Cambridge and Oxford.

Top European universities

The top-raking university in Continental Europe is ETH Zurich, which stands at 19th place, followed by Pierre and Marie Curie at 35th, the University of Copenhagen at 39th, having overtaken Paris-Sud, which currently ranks 42nd.

Dutch universities in the top 100

This year the Netherlands has four universities in the top 100, compared with three in last year’s Shanghai Ranking. Currently the Netherlands also has more universities listed overall, with 13 institutions in the top 500, compared with 10 last year.

The highest-ranked Dutch university is Utrecht University at 57th, down from 52nd place last year, followed by Leiden University, currently ranked 77th, compared with 74th in 2013.

University of Groningen has improved its rating, moving up from 92 in 2013 to 82, and VU University Amsterdam, which has reached the top 100 for the first time, stands at 100th place precisely.

Nine other Dutch universities are listed in the top 500, bringing the total number of Dutch institutions to 13. The universities listed as 101-500 are not individually ranked but instead are grouped into blocks, giving a general indication of their standing.

Interestingly, the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, another global list that rates higher education institutions, ranked TU Delft as 42nd worldwide, the highest-placed Dutch institution for 2014. In the Shanghai Ranking TU Delft is listed in the 201-300 bracket equally with Maastricht University.

Countries with most top-ranked universities

In terms of countries with the most top-ranked universities, the United States leads the way, hosting 16 of the top 20 institutions. Other countries with a high number of top universities include the UK, Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands, respectively.

The Netherlands is one of the few countries worldwide that has almost its entire university system listed in the top 500.

The ranking criteria

The ARWU reviews and ranks more than 1.200 universities each year, publishing the best 500. The Shanghai Ranking is based on transparent methodology and reliable data, evaluating institutions according to four main criteria:
 Quality of education
 Quality of faculty
 Research output
 Per capita performance

The ARWU then employs six objective indicators across the criteria to calculate weighted scores which, when added together, create the final score. Among the indicators are the number of alumni and staff who have won Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals.

2014 top Dutch universities

World rank  NL rank Institution
57 1 Utrecht University
77 2 Leiden Uiversity
82 3 Univ. of Groningen
100 4 VU Univ. of Amsterdam
101-150 5-7 Radboud Univ. Nijmengen
101-150 5-7 Univ. of Amsterdam
101-150 5-7 Univ. of Wageningen
151-200 8 Erasmus University
201-300 9-10 TU Delft
201-300 9-10 Maastricht University
301-400 11-12 TU Eindhoven
301-400 11-12 University of Twente
401-500 13 Tilburg University


Number of universities in top ten countries

Country Top 20 Top 100 Top 500
United States 16 52 146
United Kingdom 3 8 38
Switzerland 1 5 7
Germany - 4 39
France - 4 21
Netherlands - 4 13
Australia - 4 19
Canada - 4 21
Japan - 3 19
Sweden - 3 11


Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

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