The UPF, 17th best university in the world among those under the age of 50

The Times Higher Education (THE), one of the world’s most prestigious and influential university rankings, has published the first THE 100 Under 50, a list of the world’s top one hundred universities under the age of 50. The UPF comes in 17th position globally and 9th if we concentrate on the European sphere, being the best positioned centre in Spain.

The THE, which each autumn publishes the World University Rankings with the world’s best 400 universities (in 2011, the UPF came 186th overall, and 77th in Europe), has undertaken this new project, which is intended to recognize and reveal the young institutions with growing potential which are in a condition to hold leading positions in the sphere of higher education in the near future.  

From the total 100 universities included in the THE 100 Under 50, the countries with the highest representation are the UK (with 20 institutions), Australia (14), the US (9) and, in fifth position, Spain, with five centres present. Apart from the UPF, we can find the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (24th position), the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (49th), the Universitat Politècnica de València (74th) and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (86th).

The first ten positions include five European universities (three of which are from the UK), three from Asia and two from the US. The top positions in the ranking are held, in this order, by the Pohang University of Science and Technology from the Republic of Korea (in the THE World University Rankings 2011 it was in 53rd position); the École Polytechique Fédérale de Lausanne from Switzerland; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of California (Irvine) from the US.

The ranking THE 100 Under 50 includes universities from a wide variety of countries (a total of 30), and the top ten positions are held by universities representing six different countries. On the other hand, in the latest THE World University Rankings, the 200 best institutions belong to just 26 countries, and the top ten places are shared between centres from the US and the UK.

Less importance for the subjective indicators

The methodology of analysis used by the THE 100 Under 50 is the same as that used to date by the THE World University Rankings, although with a reduced weighting given to subjective indicators, which refer to academic prestige and reputation, and which have gone from having a weight of 1/3 to 1/5.

The ranking assesses thirteen indicators, referring to five main categories: teaching (30%), research (30%), citations - impact of the published works - (30%), internationalisation – both of students and of the faculty - (7.5%) and transfer of knowledge and innovation (2.5%), each of which has a specific weight when it comes to carrying out the overall calculation. 

The UPF, which obtains a general score of 45.7, stands out in citations and internationalisation, with indices of 87.6 and 54.3, respectively.

On the other hand, the first QS Top 50 Under 50 was also published recently, referring to the world’s best 50 universities under the age of 50, in which the UPF comes in 39th place. A further three Spanish universities appear in the classification (headed by the Chinese University of Hong Kong): the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (14th position), the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (19th) and the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (50th position).