UC Berkeley ranks No. 4 in ARWU global rankings

UC Berkeley ranked fourth in the world in the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) global rankings of universities, released Aug. 15. The ranking, published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, focuses on quality of faculty and research.


2014 ARWU top rankings

Berkeley placed behind Harvard, Stanford and MIT. It is again the top-ranked public U.S. university, followed by UCLA (No. 10), UCSD (No. 12) and Washington (No. 13). Berkeley continues to do extremely well in the five broad academic field rankings and the five specific subject areas – placing No. 1 in the “broad academic field” of  natural sciences and mathematics, as well as in the subject areas of chemistry and physics.

The campus’s total score, 70.1, dropped by just  more than one point; MIT, Stanford and Cambridge also had small declines. This group of institutions scored within 3 points of one another. Berkeley has ranked among the top four institutions every year since 2003, when the ARWU was first conducted.

UC Berkeley’s Office of Planning and Analysis released this primer on the rankings’ methodology:

The ARWU methodology utilizes  four criteria to assess a university’s ranking: quality of education (worth 10 percent of the total), quality of faculty (40 percent), research output (40 percent), and per capita academic performance (10 percent ).

More specifically, these include Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners among faculty and alumni weighted by decade received, Thomson Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers, the number of papers in Nature and Science published between 2009 and 2013, and the number of papers indexed in Science Citation and Social Science Citation in 2013.The weighted scores of these indicators are divided by the FTE of academic staff to obtain the per capita performance rating.

The total score is derived by summing these, and each institutional score is then standardized to the top-scoring university, which is assigned 100.

The same methodology is applied to broad fields of academic study to produce rankings within (Berkeley’s rank): natural sciences and mathematics (1), engineering/technology and computer sciences (3), social sciences (4), life and agricultural sciences (8), clinical medicine and pharmacy (28).

Additionally, this methodology is applied to specific subject areas: chemistry (1), physics (1), mathematics (3), computer science (3), and economics/business (4). Berkeley’s score increased from 3rd to 2nd in chemistry and remained the same for all other subject areas.

Details on the ARWU methodology, along with the complete list of academic rankings for 2014 and prior years, may be found at the ARWU website.