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Is Times Higher Education ranking legitimate?

sweetchipsweetchip Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
The Middle East Technical University in Turkey was ranked #85 in THE World University Rankings 2015 list with Citations benchmark of 92.0 and Research benchmark of 36.9
However, it was ranked #501-600 in THE World University Rankings 2016 list with Citations benchmark of 28.8 and Research benchmark of 17.3

How does it come that benchmarks drop that much in a year? That just doesn't make any sense

Replies to: Is Times Higher Education ranking legitimate?

  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,398 Super Moderator
    I contend that international/world university rankings don't matter that much anyway. Most people are trying to find employment within a specific country, so what really matters is how that university is reputed in your country. The Middle East Technical University might be the #85 university in the world, but if it's relatively unknown in the U.S. or the UK it may not help much with employment. There are some really well-reputed universities even in the UK and Australia that are virtually unknown in the U.S. Conversely, it doesn't matter if your university is the #501 ranked university in the world if it's a great university in your home country or region. There are also a whole lot of universities, so 500 is actually pretty good.

    Anyway, my investigation shows that Middle East Technical University was ranked 601-800 in 2017, 501-600 in 2016, and #85 in 2015.

    I mean, it could be anything. Turkey has undergone some political instability lately, with a coup attempt in mid-2016, and a corruption scandal in 2013. METU is a public university, so the political climate may have affected research output in the university. It could be something else completely.
  • Richard HolmesRichard Holmes Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    edited July 14
    The collapse of METU in the THE world rankings had absolutely nothing to do with anything to do with METU or Turkey. It was solely the result of a change in THE's methodology. In 2014 METU was rewarded for its contribution to papers from the Large Hadron Collider project with thousands of "authors" and thousands of citations. In 2015 it was given no credit at all. Nothing like this occurred in any other ranking.

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