In recent years, different university rankings have had a major impact, not least when students are choosing education abroad. For several years now, Linköping University has been among the top 2 percent in the world in the three most important international rankings.

Women and men sit discussing Photo credit Anna Nilsen LiU's position in the three international rankings usually considered the most significant is:

  • 301–400 Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU, also known as the Shanghai Ranking). Highly ranked subjects: nursing, telecommunication engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, energy science and engineering, material science, engineering, nanoscience and nanotechnology.
  • 251–300 Times Higher Education World University Rankings (rank 39 among universities younger than 50 years). Highly ranked subjects: business and economics, computer science, engineering, psychology. 
  • 268 QS World University Rankings (rank 43 among universities younger than 50 years). Highly ranked subjects: nursing, materials sciences, electrical and electronic engineering.

There are estimated to be more than 20,000 universities in the world, but only the leading ones make the ranking lists. Competition gets harder every year, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve a high ranking as new higher education institutions emerge.

The rankings measure different things

Woman in a laboratoryMany subjects at LiU rank highly. One of them is materials science. Professor Johanna Rosén works with innovative design of thin films and 2D materials. Photo credit Anna Nilsen The aim of the rankings is to measure the quality of universities. This is done in different ways. The Shanghai Ranking measures mainly the universities' research strength, including the number of Nobel prizes, while the other two also encompass education and other aspects. For example, one parameter in the QS ranking is the reputation of a university among employers.

The three ranking institutions each present an overall list annually. In addition, they compile lists that, for example, compare different subject areas, universities younger than 50 years and how well universities fulfil sustainability goals.

Beyond the rankings

We are of course delighted and proud that Linköping University ranks highly, especially when international competition is always growing stronger. At the same time, all measurements have limitations – the ranking lists don’t tell the whole story. We will never become complacent but will continue to strive to become a better place for those who choose to study and conduct research here.

Man skateboardingCitations, how often other researchers refer to your research, are an important factor in all three of the rankings and is an area in which LiU researchers are strong. Professor Gerhard Andersson, a pioneer in internet therapy, is one of the world’s most cited researchers – and a keen skateboarder. Photo credit Anna Nilsen

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