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Times Higher Education Engineering Ranking 2022 – Big gains in engineering ranking for Australia

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are published annually by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine. Initially from 2004 to 2009, the publisher had collaborated with Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) to publish joint rankings, but then, from 2010–2013, they acquired a new partner, Thomson Reuters, and designed a new ranking system. In 2014, however, the magazine signed a new contract with Elsevier who now provides them with the data used to compile the rankings.

For the engineering subject table the same performance indicators were used as for the general Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022, but the methodology has been adapted to the individual technical fields. The ranking parameters comprise: teaching; research, including volume, income and reputation; citations; international outlook; industry income. The tables encompass universities in the following disciplines: general engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, civil engineering and chemical engineering. This year’s ranking comprises 1,188 universities. The complete engineering rankings can be viewed on the homepage of Times Higher Education.

The general trend witnessed across universities worldwide is that those which have published medical research concerning Covid-19 have experienced a significant boost in their academic influence; however, it still remains to be seen if the pandemic will have a lasting impact on current hierarchies in global higher education.

This year the United States occupies the top four spots in the engineering ranking, mainly owing to improvements achieved by Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. Harvard is at the top of the ranking for the second consecutive year, followed by the afore-mentioned Stanford and Berkeley. All three universities place a strong research focus on renewable energy technologies. Berkeley University, for example, hosts Berkeley Energy, a research centre which develops and realises clean energy projects in emerging countries, as well as Berkeley Lab, where one of the major research areas is improving battery performance for large-scale industrial applications as well as in electric mobility. Meanwhile, the University of Oxford has dropped from second to sixth place.

The only universities to enter the top ten apart from universities in the United States and the United Kingdom are ETH Zurich and the National University of Singapore, achieving ninth and tenth place, respectively. This is also mainly due to their outstanding scientific achievements in a great variety of scientific fields including sustainable energy production. ETH Zürich, for example, hosts the Energy Science Center, where research relating to the development of integrated modelling platforms for assessing energy systems or the establishment of transition pathways for renewable energy integration is carried out. The National University of Singapore, meanwhile, is famous for its outstanding research in energy efficiency, energy storage, natural gas, renewable energy sources and smart grid. Moreover, the National University of Singapore features in the top 10 for the first time since 2019, while Peking University of China leaves the top ten, now occupying 12th position.

One of the biggest winners of this year’s ranking is Australia, featuring eight universities in the top 100. All of the Australian universities were able to improve their rankings; the University of Queensland, however, made the biggest jump from 88 to 66. The university hosts several projects related to sustainable energy production, including developing and applying clean coal technology as well as harnessing solar energy. UNSW Sydney, meanwhile, achieved the best ranking at joint 46th place.

Universities in the UK have also shown an overall improvement: Cambridge and Imperial have each moved up one place (5th and 13th place) and the University of Leeds has joined the top 100 at 84th place. The highest-ranked newcomer is France’s Institut Polytechnique de Paris, entering the ranking in the 101-125 band.

In total, the top 20 comprise 11 US universities, three British universities, two Swiss and two Singaporean universities as well as two Chinese institutions.