THE Ranking: Top colleges/ Universities, History and Methodology

Educational institutions require ranking. Times Higher Education (THE) ranks the Universities and Colleges. So that the people will know where an educational institution stands, they consider many points before the ranking. The Times Higher Education looks into the research, impact and teaching. Most of the Universities focus on research activities.

The Top Universities or Institutes are the University of Oxford, Stanford University, Harvard University and California Institute of Technology. It also includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge and University of California, Berkeley. Then, there are Yale University, Princeton University and the University of Chicago. All the institutions are ranked among the world rankings.

Table of Contents

What is the ranking in the Times Higher Education?

The Times Higher Education is one of the ranking bodies. They rank the Universities and higher educational institutions. THE Ranking is based on certain aspects. They use tools and many parameters while ranking. The students can be aware of the Universities and colleges. Also, they can sort the best one. There are educational institutions in many countries and regions. Additionally, particular subjects and streams are ranked. For example Best institutions for Science, Engineering, Arts and Humanities, etc.

Global Level Ranking

The institutions are ranked on a global level. It is hard to reach that point. Some institutions welcome students from other countries. The important side of a student’s life is to learn in a good institution. Initially, the Times Higher Education was with the QS. Afterwards, THE got separated from it. They joined Thomson Reuters. The Universities collaborate with the industries. Also, they do research activities. Then, the ratio of the students and the teachers are taken into account while ranking an educational institution.

History of THE Ranking

The Times Higher Education was first published in the form of the supplement. Ben Wildavsky has written a book: ‘The Great Brain Race’. In the book, the are accounts of many Universities. They are the Universities in China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, etc. In fact, they are competitive to reach the world-class. Universities strive to be the best. Ben Wildavsky is actually an educational editor. So, he knows and studies about the institutions.

About the Book

Most of the Universities try to reach the top among the other institutions in the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking. Similarly, the students are also ready to leave their home countries. This is to study in a better institution. Nowadays, there are many foreign students. Consequently, there are students from other states too. John O’Leary was the editor of the Times Higher Education.

The Times Higher Education joined with Thomson Reuters. They produced the rankings from the year 2010. Hence, the methodology to rank the institutions was discussed by Thomson Reuters. There were the editorial board as well as the readers. It was the responsibility of Thomson Reuters to analyze the data.

THE Editors

The former editor of THE (Times Higher Education) was Ann Mroz. She said that there are particular data of the Universities and the educational institutions. The rankings should be accurate and transparent. So, this will help the people in general to make decisions. Accurate measures are essential and not just producing the results by the end of the year.

The editor of the Times Higher Education (THE)  is Phil Baty. He stated that the rankings had shortcomings. It was during the first six years. He said that they were giving preference to the Science field than the humanities. After taking the weak points into account, in the year 2010, there came a new methodology. So, the results were produced according to that. One can always rely on the Times Higher Education Rankings.

Methodology and the parameters of THE Ranking (Times Higher Education)

The methodology includes five categories. In that, there were thirteen points. The five indicators are teaching-learning environment, international diversity, industry income, research and citations. The new methodology was transparent enough. Also, the databases were accurate. The methodology was formed after the discussion with global higher education. The experts of international higher education checked the databases accordingly. The feedback consisted of two hundred and fifty pages. The website postings were three hundred. So the points in the five categories are as follows:

Categories and Indicators

  1. The industry income has one indicator. That is the research income from the industry.
  2. Also, there is ‘international diversity. In that, the ratio of international to that of the domestic student and domestic staff were considered.
  3. Similarly, the teaching-learning environment consists of a reputational survey. It also contains Under Graduate students admitted per the academic year. Then, the PhD awards in a year and income that is received per year. Also, the degrees awarded for the PhD and the Undergraduate.
  4. The research category consists of the research income in total or the public and the scaled research income. Then, there is a reputational survey and the number of papers in research. Additionally, they consider staff.
  5. The citation category includes the impact made by the citations in the research.

Thomson Reuters conducts the Academic Reputation Survey. The survey was carried out in the year 2010. It was during the spring. There were over thirteen thousand responses. It consisted of scholars. They were representative of both the geographical and as well as the subject mix. The Times Higher Education aims to add more indicators to the categories. This is to be more specific in each area.

The Web of Science database from the years 2004 to 2008 helped in forming the citation impact. Comparatively, the rankings of the years 2009 and 2010 with the rankings from the years 2004 to 2008 differed. This is because that the volume of the citation discussed according to the subject areas. There are some Universities with a high research volume in the life sciences than in the social sciences. So, the modified methodology considers every aspect.

Collection of data

The scores for the indicators are 30% for teaching and research and 2.5% for the industry income. The international outlook concerning the students, staff and the researches was added later. This forms to 7.5%. Thus, the ratio of the international students with the staff was included. It was during the year 2011 and 2012.

THE (Times Higher Education) considers the research papers that a faculty member publishes. They publish with international faculty or a student. In other words, this was a great advantage. However, they did not consider one indicator that is the research income by the public.

Ranking the best institutions

The Times Higher Education stated that only two hundred institutions would be kept at the top ranks. So, the editor Phil Baty also supported the fact. He states there is no need to accumulate Universities that are low in rank. Institutions with a low rank, that is, below two hundred, is mentioned alphabetically. The Universities are ranked so that only the best ones are picked according to the indicators. He says that not all Universities does not deserve to be in the top positions. Moreover, in the years 2015 to 2016, there were eight hundred Universities that got the ranking. Thus, nine hundred and eighty Universities were ranked from many seventy-nine countries.


Some Universities take only the research into account while ranking. The Times Higher Education is the only one that considers teaching and learning. The research in the arts and Social humanities is not equal to the research carried in Science. So, there comes the difference. For example, there is more research done in the science field. Then, the Universities and the institutions of science will gain importance. As a result, this will lead to Science having more advantages. So, the universities primarily for the Arts and the Social Sciences will be low in level.

The parent company of the Times Higher Education is the TES. The (Times Higher Education) collects data based on research from ‘Elsevier’s’. Hence, it severed the connection from Thomson Reuters.

List of Top 10 Ranked Universities/ Colleges/ Institutions in India

The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; IIT in Bombay, Delhi, Indore, Roorkee, Madras, Institute of Chemical Technology; IIT, Kanpur and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

The above mentioned are the top ten institutions in India.

Frequently Asked Questions about THE Ranking

What are the Times Higher Educations- MDRA rankings 2021?

According to the sources, the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad is the first MDRA rankings. The other institutions are the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata; the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore; the S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai; Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur.

Also, there are Indian Institute of Management in Indore, Management Development Institute in Gurugram; Indian Institute of Management in Kozhikode, Faculty of Management Studies, University of New Delhi and SVKM NMIMS (Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies) School of Business Management, Mumbai.

What are the top Universities in Times Higher Education Rankings 2021?

The Top Universities or Institutes are the University of Oxford, Stanford University, Harvard University and California Institute of Technology. It also includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge and University of California, Berkeley. Then, there are Yale University, Princeton University and the University of Chicago. All the institutions are ranked among the world rankings.

The Indian Institute of Science in Ropar, Indore, King George’s Medical University, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology and Mahatma Gandhi University was ranked in India.

What are the top Universities of Architecture as per the rankings by Times Higher Education 2021?

Architecture courses have good scope. A student selecting the system can shine in that field. There are many specialisations in Architecture course. Further, they are Landscape architecture, Building and Construction Management. Then, there are Planning and Engineering and Construction Technology.

THE (Times Higher Education) lists out some Universities that is best for architecture. The Universities are: University of Glasgow, Covenant University, Monterrey Institute of Technology, Central Queensland University, Ton Duc Thang University, Karabuk University and IE University.


After the studies, the students will be qualified based on their streams. In other words, they can be industrial architects, freelance architects, architectural historians and public architects. The freelance architects have to get projects from the clients. The architect draws plans and makes estimates. Usually, it is done using computer software. Architectural historians are hired in museums, government agencies, etc. They typically do jobs in historical sites. Also, it involves research. But, the public architect job is quite different. They design the libraries, buildings, malls, etc.

What are the best Universities of Mass Communication by Times Higher Education?

The Universities that offer Mass Communication are Kyungpook National University, University of Saint Joseph, Applied Science Private University, Central South University and University of Science and Technology in China. Also, there is Federation University in Australia, the University of Electronic Science and Technology in China and Washington University, St. Louis.

What are the top-rated Law Universities by Times Higher Education?

The best Universities are: University of Oxford, Harvard University, University of Cambridge, Yale University, Stanford University, The London School of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University, New York University and the National University of Singapore.

How to increase the rankings in Times Higher Education?

Each University and institution has its advantages. Some are good at teaching and the learning environment. Many are efficient in producing research in a particular field. Many welcome international students to the Universities and the institutions. There are even colleges too listed in the top rankings. However, University goes through a big task to be ranked among the top. THE Ranking (Times Higher Education) and other agencies check every aspect of an institution. People rely on the ranking. So that, they can be aware or get admitted or try to get into a particular University in the stream and the specialisation. The rankings differ according to the countries, regions and subjects also.

Faculty Members

The first thing that any University should consider is hiring efficient faculty members. The panel should have a strategy to select the ones that deserve the position so that an institution will become popular. In other words, faculty with well-versed knowledge about the subjects will eventually help the students become excellent scholars. Hence, the main point is the planning and the strategy. Similarly, there are many are points that are necessary for a faculty member. That is the probation and the promotion. The Vice-Chancellor of the institution must be in charge of that.

Priority to Research

Next, an institution should make plans. Further, they have to execute the changes. So, making a change might be a bit difficult. But, changes in particular strategies might lead to good outcomes. Additionally, an institution must give priority to research. So, the institution should provide funds for research. Also, the remuneration should be high for the Head of any Department. Furthermore, the faculty must train the research scholars so that they can be leaders. They should get incentives. This will help a long way. The institutions must offer courses. But, there should be relevancy in the courses to their studies.


There must be a good relationship between the staff in the administrative department and the academic department. A good rapport with one another will improve the institutions as such. THE Ranking (Times Higher Education) is one raking body that considers everything. So, a healthy relationship will help in the development of specific plans and changes.

Selecting Members

Every institution needs members for a committee or board. A university must hire the best people in the governing bodies. Excellent and efficient scholars will govern a body. So, that University or an institution will assign that duty to them. As a result, every department in an institution will develop accordingly. The Universities should not select mediocre people to govern a body.

On what parameters does the Times Higher Education rank the Universities?

There are five categories in the approach. There were a total of thirteen points in that. Teaching-learning environments, international diversity, industry revenue, research, and citations are the five indicators. The new technique was sufficiently clear, and the databases were correct. They talked to people in higher education all across the world and developed a new plan. Experts in higher education from across the globe double-checked the databases. Two hundred and fifty pages of input were received, and three hundred online entries were made. The following are the points in each of the five categories:

Categories and Indicators

  • There is just one indication for industrial income. That is the money collected from the industry for research.
  • There’s also a category for “international diversity.” They take into account the international student to domestic student ratio. Also, the domestic staffing ratio.
  • Similarly, the teaching-learning environment includes a reputational survey, the admission of Undergraduate students each academic year, and the awarding of PhDs each year. They also take into account annual revenue. Later on, the PhD and Undergraduate degrees were conferred.
  • The overall research revenue and the public and scaled research income are included in the research category. It comprises a reputational survey as well as many research papers. In addition, according to the research, the employees.
  • The influence of citations in the research is included in the citation category.

Thomson Reuters conduct the Academic Reputation Survey. In the year 2010, a survey was conducted. It was in the springtime. Over thirteen thousand people responded. It was made up of academics. They were reflective of both the geographical and topic diversity. The Times Higher Education intends to expand the categories with new metrics. To be more detailed in each area, this is necessary.


From 2004 to 2008, the Web of Science database was used to assist create the citation impact. When comparing the ranks from 2004 to 2008 with the rankings from 2009 and 2010, there was a significant difference. This is because the number of citations varied depending on the topic areas. Some universities have a higher output of research in the life sciences than in the social sciences. As a result, the updated technique takes into account all factors.

Collection of data

Teaching and research receive 30 per cent of the points, while industrial income receives 2.5 per cent. Later, the worldwide perspective on students, faculty, and analysis was included. This equals 7.5 per cent. In the years 2011 and 2012, the ratio of international students to staff was included.

The research articles that a faculty member publishes alongside other foreign faculty or students are also taken into account by THE (Times Higher Education). In other words, this was a significant benefit. They did not, however, take into account one indicator: public research income.

Ranking 200 Universities

According to the Times Higher Education, just two hundred universities will be at the top of the rankings. As a result, the editor Phil Baty agreed with the statement. He claims that there is no need to amass a large number of low-ranking universities. The universities with the lowest rankings are listed alphabetically.

The universities are graded in such a way that only the best are chosen based on the criteria. He claims that not all universities are deserving of top rankings. Furthermore, from 2015 to 2016, there were over 800 universities that received the rating. Thus, nine hundred and eighty universities from seventy-nine nations were ranked.

Consideration of Research

Certain universities rate themselves only based on their research. The Times Higher Education is the only publication that takes teaching and learning into account. The study conducted in the arts and social humanities is not comparable to that undertaken in science. So there’s the distinction. For example, if there is more research in the Science area, that field obtains an edge.

In addition, if there are fewer in the humanities, there will be fewer benefits. Consequently, Science will have a competitive edge over universities that are primarily focused on the arts and social sciences. The TES is the parent corporation of the Times Higher Education.

The collects data based on the research in Universities from ‘Elsevier’s’. Hence, it severed the connection from Thomson Reuters.

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List of Universities ranked by The Ranking