U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities Ranking

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The Best Global Universities ranking by U.S. News & World Report is an annual ranking of world universities. On October 28, 2014, U.S. News, which began ranking American universities in 1983, published its inaugural global ranking, assessing 500 universities in 49 countries. That first installment of the Best Global Universities Ranking was published without prior announcement, with U.S. News later clarifying that the rankings of that year were a trial balloon for the publication's entrance into the global university rankings field. After pre-announcing the rankings of next year, in 2016, the periodical formalized the global university rankings as part of its regular annual programming. Having made official the ranking methodology, it disclosed that it is based on 10 different indicators that measure universities' academic performance and reputations.[1] The ranking has since been revised and expanded to cover 1,500 institutions in 81 countries and now includes five regional and 28 subject rankings.[2] Employing 13 indicators and based largely on data provided by Clarivate, the U.S. News global ranking is methodologically different from its ranking of American institutions; global universities are rated using factors such as research reputation, academic publications, and the number of highly cited papers.[3][4]

Inside Higher Ed noted in 2014 that U.S. News is entering into the international college and university rankings area that is already "dominated by three major global university rankings": the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and the QS World University Rankings.[5] U.S. News' chief data strategist Robert Morse stated "We're well-known in the field for doing academic rankings so we thought it was a natural extension of the other rankings that we're doing."[5] Morse pointed out that U.S. News is "the first American publisher to enter the global rankings space", given Times Higher Education and QS are both British, while the Academic Ranking of World Universities is Chinese.[5]

The Washington Post noted that some U.S. institutions rank lower on U.S. News' global ranking than on their domestic ranking, in particular Princeton, which was named top university in the U.S. in the 2015 domestic ranking but was ranked behind nine other U.S. universities (and three U.K. universities) in the 2015 global ranking. This was attributed to the global ranking concentrating on "research prowess", while the "undergraduate experience", for which uniform international data is hard to obtain, was not included.[6] Forbes, which, along with many others, has roundly criticized the U.S. News ranking of American colleges,[7] praised the U.S. News global ranking as being mostly based upon “objective measures” and representing a “worthy” evaluation scheme.[8]


  1. ^ https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/how-us-news-calculated-the-rankings[bare URL]
  2. ^ "Best Global Universities". U.S. News & World Report.
  3. ^ Haynie, Devon. "U.S. News Releases Inaugural Best Global Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report.
  4. ^ "How U.S. News Calculated the Best Global Universities Ranking". U.S. News & World Report.
  5. ^ a b c "'U.S. News' to Issue New Global University Rankings". Inside Higher Ed.
  6. ^ Nick Anderson (28 October 2014). "U.S. News rolls out global university rankings, with some surprises". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ Nietzel, Michael T. (2019-09-09). "U.S. News Releases Its Annual College Rankings. Here's What's Wrong With Them". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2019-09-12. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  8. ^ Nietzel, Michael T. (2019-10-26). "U.S. News Names Its Best Global Universities: American Institutions Are At The Top". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2019-10-30. Retrieved 2020-09-22.