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World university rankings are lists of higher education institutions ordered using a combination of indicators. Some rankings rely mainly on research indicators, while others place a great deal of emphasis on opinion based surveys. Up to now, there has been no ranking measuring the quality of the learning environment as well as research without relying on surveys and university data submissions. Here it is shown that a ranking measuring the quality of education and training of students as well as the prestige of the faculty and the quality of their research could be constructed based solely on verifiable data. It is found that, in addition to research performance, the quality of an institution’s alumni significantly affects its ranking. The indicators used to quantify these aspects are chosen to be robust against manipulation. The results of this study will be of interest to students, academics, university administrators, and government officials from around the world. (Nadim Mahassen, Center for World University Rankings, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) (A quantitative approach to world university rankings)

Sources of data: CWUR World University Rankings, 2015

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