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Times ranking: UCPH shoots up to 82nd in the world

The University of Copenhagen is up 78 places on the much-debated Times Higher Education ranking, and is now top 100 again

Hold on to your seats. The dizzy rollercoaster ride on the THE ranking has gotten wilder for the University of Copenhagen. UCPH is now 82nd best university according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, up a massive 78 places from 160 last year. A change that is significant even by wobbly ranking standards.

The Times Higher Education table which used to consistently have UCPH in the top 100 went through a methodological shake-up in 2010 that suddenly dropped a majority of non-Anglo-American universities including UCPH down below the 100 threshold. In 2010 UCPH plummeted from 51st to 177th. Now UCPH has been boosted back again into the top 100.

“It’s good news for Denmark to have made this prestigious list of the world’s top universities. It is now among one of 70 countries in the elite four per cent of universities in the world – something it can be very proud of achieving again this year,” says Phil Baty editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

European universities ‘waking up’

Main Danish competitor Aarhus University got 149th place up from 153rd. Technical University of Denmark DTU achieved 167th this year, with Aalborg and CBS ranked 201-250, University of Southern Denmark ranked 301-350. Elsewhere, Continental Europe is moving in on the Anglo-American universities. ETH Zurich in Switzerland got ninth place on the ranking. Germany now has 20 institutions in the top 200 (compared with 12 in 2014-15) and three – LMU Munich, Heidelberg University and Humboldt University in Berlin – are now part of the top 50.

Maybe just a little tongue-in-cheek, Phil Baty, THE rankings editor, attributes the sudden move-up of European universities to their own changing behaviour as a result of the THE rankings.

“It seems that European universities have woken up to the benefits of the international scrutiny provided by THE World University Rankings, which plays a major role influencing international students’ study choices. This strong showing in the 2015-16 World University Rankings will make Europe an even more attractive destination for international students,” he says.

California Institute of Technology first

The Times ranking is one of four rankings that the University of Copenhagen benchmarks itself on, the others being QS, the Shanghai rank and the Leiden. The Times ranking methodology has previously been known to especially favour Anglo-American research-intensive institutions. UCPH ranked 69th in the world on the QS in 2015, and 35th on the Shanghai list.

The Times ranking is partly based on publication and citation data from Elsevier’s Scopus. The ranking features universities in 70 countries, with 29 new countries included this year. Countries entering this year include Indonesia, Malaysia, Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Latvia, Oman, Qatar and the Ukraine.

At the top of the THE list this year California Institute of Technology took first for the second year running, followed by University of Oxford in second, and Stanford in third place.

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