University rankings have been established in an attempt to make a listing of the world's top universities. Over the years they have proven to be an important tool for international students searching for a study programs at a university abroad. There are various university ranking systems and they all use their own method of data collection and interpretation. The main university rankings are:
The Times Higher Education (THE) is probably the best known university ranking. For the past 6 years it has been the most influential international ranking. In its recently published 2012 world ranking, 6 Dutch universities are listed in the top 100. All but one have claimed a spot in the global top 200; a feat that is unrivalled worldwide. This makes the Netherlands the best performing mainland European country in the Times Higher Education ranking. If you look at the number of universities in the top 200, the Netherlands are the 3rd most successful country in the world after the US and the UK.
Read the news article on the Times Higher World Reputation Ranking for universities
Read more about the Times Higher Education World University Ranking
The QS World University Ranking is a ranking of the world's top 700 universities. Their first ranking was published in 2004. Besides an overall ranking, QS has introduced separate rankings per field of study. This allows for easy comparison between universities that have a similar education and/or research profile. In the recently published (September 2012) top 250, 12 universities from the Netherlands are listed. Four universities from the Netherlands are in the top 100.
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The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is issued by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. First published in 2003, ARWU's main university ranking indicators are: quality of education, quality of faculty and quality of research output. Among the recently published 2012 top 500 ranking, 13 universities from the Netherlands are listed. This is the first time that all Dutch institutions have made it to the top 500 of the ARWU ranking.
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The Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University has developed a university ranking system based on citation impact of publications. This ranking system is very influential among international researchers and scientists. Among the top 500 most influential universities (2005-2011), 13 universities from the Netherlands are listed. According to the Leiden Ranking, universities from the Netherlands score well above the world's avarage in terms of research quality and impact.
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