The three most influential global rankings are the ones produced by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy (the Academic Ranking of World Universities; ARWU), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), and Times Higher Education (THE). Each ranking organization measures the higher education institutions in different ways, using different criteria, and different weightings of similar criteria.
The first international rankings, the Academic Ranking of World Universities or Shanghai Rankings, were published in 2003 by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. Its assessment criteria are predominantly based on the research performance of the universities, especially in the science and engineering fields. ARWU uses six indicators to rank universities globally, including the number of articles published, the number of highly cited researchers, as well as the number of scientific awards won by the institutions’ alumni and current staff members.
On their global list, more than 1,800 universities are ranked by ARWU every year and the best 1,000 are published. On their latest ranking published in August 2022, four Hungarian universities achieved to be listed among the first 1,000 including:
- Eötvös Loránd University- ELTE (place: 601-700),
- Semmelweis University (place: 601-700),
- University of Szeged (place: 701-800),
- Budapest University of Technology and Economics (place: 901-1,000).
The QS World University Rankings portfolio started in 2004 and has become one of the world’s most popular sources of university performance. They assess institutions based on six indicators including academic and employer reputation, research citations faculty-student ratio, and international research network.
The latest QS World University Rankings 2023 features over 1,400 universities from around the world, and seven Hungarian higher education institutions were listed among the best 1,000. The University of Szeged has earned the best ranking among the Hungarian institutions, it took 551-560 place. The other Hungarian institutions that achieved to be listed among the best 1,000 universities are:
- University of Debrecen (place: 651-700)
- Eötvös Loránd University- ELTE (place: 701-750)
- University of Pécs (place: 701-750),
- Budapest University of Technology and Economics (place: 801-1,000)
- Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE) (place: 801-1,000)
- Széchenyi István University (place: 801-1,000).
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine. Its performance indicators are grouped into five areas: teaching, research, citations, industry income, and international outlook (staff, students, and research).
Its latest World University Rankings 2022 includes more than 1600 institutions across 99 countries. In this list, five Hungarian higher education institutions were listed among the best 1,000 universities worldwide, and Semmelweis University received the best ranking among them, it took the 251-300 place. Further Hungarian universities among the first 1,000 institutions:
- Eötvös Loránd University- ELTE (place: 601-800)
- University of Debrecen, University of Pécs, University of Szeged (all of them have the places 801-1,000)
Although there is controversy surrounding rankings due to their methodology, and they should be considered with criticism, these lists can be still a useful starting point for your university search and a good way to monitor university performance. If you are interested how your current or desired Hungarian university ranked globally according to the above criteria, check out these lists for further information.