Concept

Academic Ranking of World Universities

Summary
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Ranking, is one of the annual publications of world university rankings. The league table was originally compiled and issued by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2003, making it the first global university ranking with multifarious indicators. Since 2009, ARWU has been published and copyrighted annually by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, an organization focusing on higher education that is not legally subordinated to any universities or government agencies. In 2011, a board of international advisory consisting of scholars and policy researchers was established to provide suggestions. The publication currently includes global league tables for institutions as a whole and for a selection of individual subjects, alongside independent regional Greater China Ranking and Macedonian HEIs Ranking. ARWU is regarded as one of the three most influential and widely observed university rankings, alongside QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It has received positive feedback for its objectivity and methodology, but draws wide criticism as it fails to adjust for the size of the institution, and thus larger institutions tend to rank above smaller ones. EU Research Headlines reported the ARWU's work on 31 December 2003: "The universities were carefully evaluated using several indicators of research performance." A survey on higher education published by The Economist in 2005 commented ARWU as "the most widely used annual ranking of the world's research universities." In 2010, The Chronicle of Higher Education called ARWU "the best-known and most influential global ranking of universities" and Philip G. Altbach named ARWU's 'consistency, clarity of purpose, and transparency' as significant strengths. University of Oxford Chancellor Chris Patten has said "the methodology looks fairly solid ... it looks like a pretty good stab at a fair comparison.
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