The Times World University Rankings 2014-2015

Higher education serves as the foundation of most careers. As such, it’s critical for students to gain a thorough understanding of what’s on offer and choose the study path that best suits their individual needs and ambitions. Since its establishment in 2010, the Times Higher Education rankings have emerged as an invaluable resource for students on the search for an opinion that matters.

According to Times Higher Education the methodology of selecting final candidates is "robust, transparent and sophisticated." The entire process takes around 10 months and involves “detailed consultation with leading experts in global higher education."

The most prominent of the publication’s numerous countdowns is the World University Rankings. The list shines the spotlight on the best universities, colleges and institutions on the planet, taking into account the four fundamental factors of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. Encompassed in the rankings are the major academic areas of Arts and Humanities, Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health, Engineering and Technology, Life sciences, Physical sciences and Social sciences. The compilation of the official rankings is a huge responsibility, with students, professors, academics, industries and governments all turning to the Times Higher Education rankings for trusted information on the world’s leading educational institutions.    

Another internationally recognized countdown is the World Reputation Rankings. Drawing on results from an invitation-only academic opinion survey, Times Higher Education compiles an up-to-the-minute list of 100 of the world’s most influential universities. While the final results are determined by subjective judgment the illustrious nature of participants means the league table is highly regarded in the academic sphere. The system has received a plethora of praise from the academic sphere, with Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed stating, “Most outfits that do rankings get criticized for the relative weight given to reputation as opposed to objective measures. While Times Higher Education does overall rankings that combine various factors, it is today releasing rankings that can't be criticized for being unclear about the impact of reputation – as they are strictly of reputation.”

While Times Higher Education rankings are largely dominated by the world’s long established educational institutions the publication has also reserved an exclusive countdown for the younger generation. The 100 Under 50 is reserved solely for universities under 50 years old and ensures up and coming institutions get their share of the limelight. While the table draws on the same 13 indicators of the World University Rankings it has been tweaked to cater to the characteristics of newer universities, with a lessened focus on academic reputation and a greater emphasis on innovation and excellence.

As the largest and most populous continent on the planet Asia enjoys its very own ranking table. The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings are judged using the same criteria as the World University Rankings yet are limited to Asian institutions.

Cementing Times Higher Education as a diverse and all-encompassing publication is its BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings. The rundown is powered by Thomson Reuters and focusses exclusively on educational institutions that fall into FTSE’s official “emerging economies” category. At present, these include the nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.