This year’s ranking involved 1,258 universities, compared to 1,102 in 2017. Just as last year, the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) takes first place. The University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) and Stanford University (United States) take second and third place respectively. The leading German universities are Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich (32nd place), Technical University of Munich (44th) and Heidelberg University (47th). The leading university in the German-speaking world is once again ETH Zurich, at 11th place.
Professor Carola Jungwirth, President of the University of Passau, said: ‘Regular participation in ranking systems with varying levels of coverage is a catalyst for innovation and quality in the areas of research, teaching as well as the advancement of early career researchers. It is an essential step if we are to make the University's competitive position visible, to communicate it to our internal and external publics and to enhance its appeal in the world of academia and for potential students. A good ranking result is, furthermore, an important connecting factor for international cooperative partnerships and makes it easier for our students to gain access to excellent universities abroad. For all of these reasons, I am very pleased at the gains we have made since last year in relative terms, which show that we are progressively and sustainably increasing our performance.’
The Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings, which are among the most influential worldwide university league tables, see the number of participating universities increase every year. They are constructed on a comparison of 13 different indicators from the areas of research, teaching, knowledge transfer and internationalisation. Some of the data – above all indicators on the student body, staff figures and financial resources – are reported by the participating universities themselves, while others are obtained from academic databases and THE-conducted surveys among international academics.