By Arabia Higher Ed Editorial Team
The 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) was released on August 17 by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, which annually presents the world Top 500 universities. This year, in addition to the top 500 universities, ShanghaiRanking announced the list of universities ranked between 501 and 800 as ARWU World Top 500 Candidates.
At the global level, Harvard remains the number one University in the world for the 15th year. Stanford continues to be the second top university. The University of Cambridge overtook MIT and Berkeley and rose to the third best university in the world.
In Continental Europle, ETH Zurich (19th) in Switzerland continues to be the top ranked university, followed by University of Copenhagen (30th) in Denmark and Pierre and Marie Curie University (40th) in France.
Tokyo University is ranked 24th and is still the highest ranked university in Asia. Tsinghua University (48th) entered the top 50 for the first time and became the third top ranked Asian universities behind Kyoto University (35th).
Only two Arab countries made this year's rankings with Saudi Arabia dominating the Arab World with two universities in the top 200 and four in the top 500. King Abdulaziz University and King Saud University were ranked in the same range (101-150) while Egypt made the ranking with a sole entry by Cairo University (401-500). Lebanon was absent from this year's ranking in addition to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar.
Universities from the United States dominate this year’s top lists with 48 Top 100 universities and 135 Top 500 universities. China has 57 Top 500 universities and the United Kingdom has 38. In total, 18 universities enter the Top 500 list for the first time.
For the first time, the institutions ranked between 501 and 800 are published as ARWU World Top 500 Candidates. They demonstrate their potential of breaking into the Top 500 list in the near future. Qatar University broke into the top 800 at the 601-700 position while Egypt added two more Universities at the 701-800 position: Ain Shams University and Alexandria University.
United States and China are the two biggest host of Top 500 Candidates, both of them have 55 institutions recognized as candidates.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) started in 2003 and is based on a set of objective indicators and third-party data. ARWU has been recognized as the precursor of global university rankings and one of the most trustworthy league table.
ARWU adopts six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, the number of Highly Cited Researchers, the number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance. About 1300 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 universities are published. Starting from 2017, those universities ranked between 501 and 800 in the world are also published.