Academic Ranking of World Universities

Selection of Universities

Candidate universities were selected based on two criteria. First, the candidate universities should have or aim for international reputation. That is to say, they should have desire and potential to participate in the competition of attracting scholars, students from a global market. Second, the candidate universities should have been approved to recruit students from other jurisdictions in Greater China.

Mainland China
In Mainland China, 112 universities supported by 211 Project were considered as those who include international reputation in their mission, given the purpose of the project. It is worth noting that these 112 universities cover all 39 universities supported by 985 Project. Among these 112 universities, this year 92 have been qualified to recruit students from abroad as well as Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Therefore, 92 Mainland universities were selected in the ranking.

Taiwan
A study done by Tamkang University (Center for Learning and Teaching, Tamkang University, 2012) adopted the methodology of Carnegie Classification (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2006) to classify a number of Taiwan universities into “Doctorate-granting Universities”. We adopted the same methodology and selected 38 doctorate-granting universities. These 38 universities cover all 12 universities supported by 5 Year 50 Billion Plan and thus were regarded as the most capable ones in Taiwan that can compete with global peers. All of the 38 universities have started to recruit students from Mainland China in 2016; therefore, 38 universities in Taiwan were selected in the ranking.

Hong Kong and Macau
The number of universities in Hong Kong and Macau is not many. All universities in these two jurisdictions had been scanned and those who grant doctoral degree and open to students in other jurisdictions were selected. As a result, 8 Hong Kong universities and 2 Macau universities were included in the ranking.

Finally, 140 universities were selected (92 in Mainland China, 38 in Taiwan, 8 in Hong Kong, 2 in Macau) and ranked. The Top 100 universities were released.

Indicators and Weights

The higher education systems in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are quite different from each other. Therefore the ranking of Greater China universities is more like a cross-national ranking than a domestic one. As is well known, indicators for cross-national comparison are limited. Based on our experience of developing the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and analyses of indicators used in other ranking exercise (Xie, Cheng, & Liu, 2009), we adopted several new indicators in addition to those used in ARWU to form the indicator system of the ranking of Greater China universities. It consisted of 13 indicators representing 4 broad categories, namely Education, Research, Faculty and Resources.

In order to help users to easily understand the general standing of different universities, although controversial, fixed weights were given to each indicator based on simple rules: indicators were of equal importance; and output indicators were introduced a weight of 2, according to the idea of Article 8 of Berlin Principles on Ranking of Higher Education Institutions - Measure outcomes in preference to inputs whenever possible. Therefore, each of 7 output indicators was given a weight of 10% while each of 6 input or process indicators was assigned a weight of 5%. Given the assumption that both gross performance and per capita performance of a university are important and should be reflected properly, for all size-dependent indicators, we used both absolute numbers and size adjusted numbers and weighted them equally.

Indicator System for Ranking of Top Universities in Greater China
Criteria Indicator Weight
Education (35%) 1.1 Percentage of Graduate Students 5%
1.2 Percentage of Non-local Students 5%
1.3 Ratio of Academic Staff to Students 5%
1.4 Doctoral Degrees Awarded 10%
1.5 Alumni of Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists 10%
Research (35%) 2.1 Annual Research Income 5%
2.2 Nature & Science Papers 10%
2.3 SCIE & SSCI Papers 10%
2.4 International Patents 10%
Faculty (25%) 3.1 Percentage of Academic Staff with a Doctoral Degree 5%
3.2 Staff of Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists 10%
3.3 Highly Cited Researchers 10%
Resources (5%) 4.1 Annual Budget 5%

Definition of Indicators

Percentage of Graduate Students (5%)
The number of students enrolled at Master’s or above level divided by the number of students enrolled at Bachelor’s or above level.

Percentage of Non-local Students (5%)
The number of non-local students enrolled at Bachelor’s or above level divided by the number of all students enrolled at Bachelor’s or above level. Non-local students refer to students who are not permanent residents of the jurisdiction where the institution is located.

Ratio of Academic Staff to Students (5%)
The number of teaching related academic staff divided by the number of students enrolled at Bachelor’s or above level.

Doctoral Degrees Awarded (10%)
The number of doctoral degrees awarded in the past year (5%).
The number of doctoral degrees awarded divided by the number of teaching related academic staff (5%).

Alumni of Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists (10%)
The number of alumni of Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists (5%). (Please refer to the definition of “Alumni” indicator of ARWU for detailed description)
The number of alumni of Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists divided by the number of students enrolled at Bachelor’s or above level (5%).

Annual Research Income (5%)
The amount of external funds for research activities in the past year (2.5%).
The Annual Research Income divided by the number of teaching related academic staff (2.5%).

Nature & Science Papers (10%)
The number of papers published in Nature and Science in the past 5 years (5%). (Please refer to the definition of “N&S” indicator of ARWU for detailed description)
The number of Nature & Science Papers divided by the number of teaching related academic staff (5%).

SCIE & SSCI Papers (10%)
The number of papers indexed in Science Citation Index-Expanded and Social Science Citation Index in the past year (5%). (Please refer to the definition of “PUB” indicator of ARWU for detailed description)
The number of SCIE & SSCI Papers divided by the number of teaching related academic staff (5%).

International Patents (10%)
The number of international patents indexed in Derwent Innovations Index in the past 5 years. International patents refer to those granted by patent offices outside Greater China (5%).
The number of International Patents divided by the number of teaching related academic staff (5%).

Percentage of Academic Staff with a Doctoral Degree (5%)
The number of teaching related academic staff with a doctoral degree divided by the number of teaching related academic staff.

Staff of Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists (10%)
The number of the staff of an institution winning Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Economics and Fields Medal in Mathematics (5%). (Please refer to the definition of “Award” indicator of ARWU for detailed description)
The number of Staff of Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists divided by the number of teaching related academic staff (5%).

Highly Cited Researchers (10%)
The number of highly cited researchers in 21 subject categories (5%). (Please refer to the definition of “HiCi” indicator of ARWU 2016 for detailed description)
The number of Highly Cited Researchers divided by the number of teaching related academic staff (5%).

Annual Budget (5%)
The amount of annual budget in the past year (2.5%).
The amount of Annual Budget divided by the number of students enrolled at Bachelor’s or above level (2.5%).

Data Sources

Data for calculating indicators is collected from three main sources. The first source is international databases such as Web of Knowledge. The second source is various statistics of universities published by authoritative agencies such as Ministry of Education and University Grants Committee. The third source is the Global Research University Profile (GRUP) Survey conducted by ourselves. When data from the second source is not available, the survey data is used.

Indicator Data Source
Nobel laureates http://nobelprize.org/
Fields Medals http://www.mathunion.org/index.php?id=prizewinners
Highly cited researchers http://www.highlycited.com/
Nature and Science Papers, SCIE & SSCI Papers, and International Patents http://www.webofknowledge.com
Others Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. (2014). Basic Statistics of Universities Subordinated to the Ministry of Education 2014.

Department of Statistics, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. (2014). Basic Statistics for Institutions of Higher Education 2014-2015. http://www.edu.tw/statistics/index.aspx

Tertiary Education Services Office of the Government of the Macau SAR. (2014). Data of Higher Education in Macau: Faculty and Students 2014/2015. http://www.gaes.gov.mo/MHEDB/

ShanghaiRanking Consultancy (2016). ShanghaiRanking's Global Research University Profiles.
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