Saltar al contenido

University rankings –

marzo 31, 2021
180515 rankingmasteres University rankings -

University rankings

Once you have chosen the university studies you want to do, it is time to choose the university where you want to study them. To do this, one of the aspects that you must take into account is the prestige of the center in the world rankings of universities.

The international rankings are classifications, of Anglo-Saxon tradition, which aim to analyze the universities globally or by specialties based on criteria established by the organization that elaborates them.

ranking master

Each ranking uses a own indicators, and from these the classifications are created. If you consider using the data from a ranking as a criterion for choosing these studies, it is important that you take into account the indicators that are evaluated and verify that they correspond to your preferences.

In addition to rankings, there are also tools that allow you to create your own ranking, with which you can create a ranking according to your interests.

Below you can find the main international rankings and some tools that will allow you to configure your own ranking.

Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)

The ARWU, also known as Shanghai ranking, is one of the most prestigious rankings prepared by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. It compares the academic and research quality of universities around the world using the following indicators:

  • Former student body winners of a Nobel Prize and / or Fields Medal (10%).

  • Institution staff winner of a Novel Prize and / or Fields Medal (20%).

  • Researchers highly cited in 21 broad categories (20%).

  • Articles published in Nature and Science journals (20%).

  • Articles indexed in Science Citation Index, Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) (20%).

  • Per capita academic performance of the institution (10%).

The Top 500 Universities according to these indicators. In the last year, Spanish universities that were part of this ranking were:

This ranking it also analyzes universities by specialties of research grouped into five branches of knowledge: natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, medical sciences and engineering.

QS World University Ranking

The QS World University Ranking is prepared by the British consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds and compares the universities following more subjective criteria such as opinion polls on the institutional reputation of the centers. This ranking offers global results, but also by topic, region, even, makes a special ranking for MBA.

This ranking evaluate the following aspects:

  • Reputation according to academics (40%).

  • Reputation according to employers (10%).

  • Teacher-student ratio (20%).

  • Citations produced by university researchers (20%):.

  • Proportion of international academics (5%).

  • Proportion of international students (5%).

In the last post, Spanish universities that have appeared in the first 500 positions are:

Times Higher Education (THE)

The THE World University Ranking is the ranking made annually by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine with the best universities worldwide, where aspects such as teaching, research or the reputation of the institution are evaluated.

Likewise, this magazine also publishes other rankings such as, for example, the World Reputation Ranking, the Young University Ranking, the University Impact Ranking, the Japan University Ranking, the US College Ranking and the World University Ranking by Subject that includes different branches of knowledge.

The indicators evaluated by this ranking are the following:

  • Teaching: reputation and learning environment (30%).
  • Research: volume, revenue and reputation (30%).
  • Citations of the studies carried out: influence of the research (30%).
  • International perspective: staff, students and research (7.5%).
  • Industry / company income: knowledge transfer (2.5%).

In the last world ranking, the Spanish universities that are in the first 500 positions are:

NTU Ranking

The NTU Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities is a world ranking published by the National Taiwan University (NTU) that evaluates the scientific publications of universities in six fields of knowledge: agriculture, life sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and medicine. Likewise, this ranking is carried out globally and by sub-areas of knowledge.

The indicators on which this ranking is based are:

  • Research production (25%).
  • Research impact (35%).
  • Research excellence (40%).

Some Spanish universities found in this ranking are:


The Webometrics university web ranking measures the web presence and visibility of the different university institutions. It is prepared by the Cybermetrics Laboratory, a research group that belongs to the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC).

Its methodology is based on the analysis of:

  • Impact of the institution. Number of external networks that have backlinks on the web pages of the institutions (50%).
  • Presence. Number of pages of the institution’s main web domain (5%).
  • Openness and transparency. Number of citations of the main authors in Google Schoolar citations (10%).
  • Excellence. Number of academic articles published in high impact international journals (35%).

In the First 200 Positions of this ranking include the following universities Spanish:

Best Global Universities

The Best Global Universities Ranking is published in the US News & World Report magazine and its comparison is based mainly on the results of academic research and the global and regional reputation of the institutions.

To evaluate universities are governed by the following indicators:

  • Reputation from surveys (25%).
  • Research impact (65%).
  • Scientific excellence (10%).

It also produces specific rankings according to the different fields of knowledge (arts and humanities, biology and biochemistry, social sciences and public health, computer science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, etc.).

The universities Spanish included among the top 300 positions in the last ranking have been:


U-Multirank is a draft funded by the European Commission which allows students to create their own classifications, taking into account your preferences.

This ranking compares higher education institutions according to the following criteria:

  • Teaching and learning.
  • Investigation.
  • Knowledge transfer.
  • International orientation.
  • Regional commitment.

Is tool It allows comparisons at the level of the university as a whole or in specific fields, in addition, it compares institutions with similar institutional profiles.


U-Ranking is a ranking of Spanish universities prepared by the BBVA Foundation and the Valencian Institute for Economic Research (IVIE). It is made up of various indicators such as the impact of the university, teaching, research, its internationalization, etc. Students can select the most interesting aspects for them and create their own ranking.

Other important aspects for students appear in this ranking, such as the cut-off grade for the last year or the price per credit.

CYD ranking

The CYD ranking is a instrument created by the Knowledge and Development Foundation that allows create rankings tailored for students, university managers, companies or other social agents, to compare the quality of Spanish universities in a multidimensional way.

Users can choose the field, the universities and the criteria they want to compare and a ranking is generated based on their interests or preferences.

The indicators are grouped into the following dimensions:

  • Teaching and learning
  • Investigation
  • Knowledge transfer
  • International orientation
  • Contribution to regional development

The results are not presented in the form of ranking, but are shown by three performance groups (high, intermediate and low) for each of the indicators.

Specialized rankings

There are also some specialized rankings in one type of study, such as special MBA rankings. Some examples of these rankings are the Financial Times Business Education, the Bloomberg Business Schools & MBA Ranking, the The Economist MBA Ranking or the Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking.

The classification of a university in a ranking It can never be the only criterion of choice, but one more to take into account. It is important that you value other important aspects such as, for example, the study plan, the teaching staff, whether or not to carry out an internship, in order to be able to choose your degree, master or postgraduate degree.

Learn about the criteria that will help you choose your university according to your goals and interests.