2019 Shanghai Ranking: Utrecht University yet again the best in NL

2019 Shanghai Ranking: Utrecht University yet again the best in NL

This year, as with last year, four Dutch universities have made it into the top 100 of the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) a.k.a the Shanghai Ranking. However, there is one Dutch university that has managed to hold on to its top spot amongst other Dutch institutions since the inception of the ARWU in 2003, and this year is no exception.

What is the ARWU?

The ARWU, more commonly known as the Shanghai Ranking, has been about since 2003 and reviews 1.800 universities annually to publish the top 1.000. Six objective indicators are used to assess the universities, and these are as follows:

  • 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

Utrecht leads in ARWU ranking

Utrecht University has yet again managed to keep the title of best university in the Netherlands, according to the ARWU. This year, the university climbs a few places in the world ranking to claim 49th place; last year it came in 51st. Another three Dutch universities have also taken spots in the top 100 of the ARWU.

The other Dutch universities in the top 100 are the same as last year but in a different order; they are the University of Groningen, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University. These occupy global places 65, 68 and 82 respectively. In the 2019 ranking, the University of Groningen moves up one place compared to last year and the Erasmus University Rotterdam climbs a whopping 11 places. Leiden University, whilst still in the top 100, unfortunately drops eight places.

Dutch universities in the 2019 ARWU

Take a look at the Dutch universities that achieved a place in the top 1.000.

World rank Institution National rank
49 Utrecht University 1
65 University of Groningen 2
68 Erasmus University Rotterdam 3
82 Leiden University 4
101 - 150 Radboud University Nijmegen 5 - 7
101 - 150 University of Amsterdam 5 - 7
101 - 150 VU University Amsterdam 5 - 7
151 - 200 Delft University of Technology 8 - 9
151 - 200 University of Wageningen 8 - 9
201 - 300 Maastricht University 10
301 - 400 Eindhoven University of Technology 11
401 - 500 University of Twente 12
501 - 600 Tilburg University 13

Top 10 universities worldwide

As with previous years, American universities head the list, with the British universities of Cambridge and Oxford also making it into the top 10. The top 10 is as follows:

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

For more information, please see the ARWU website.

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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