The Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranks the world's top research universities. These include some of the leading Australian universities for academic research.
Shanghai ARWU measures elite research performance using 6 indicators:
- number of alumni winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (10%)
- number of staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (20%)
- number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Scientific (20%)
- number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science (20%)
- number of articles indexed in Science Citation Indexes (20%)
- per capita performance considering the size of an institution (10%).
ARWU, often referred to simply as the ‘Shanghai Rankings’, was originally developed to compare Chinese universities with others worldwide, with particular reference to academic and research performance.
In 2021, Shanghai ARWU ranked 7 Australian universities in the world's top 100. A total of 24 Australian universities made the final cut into the world's top 500. In other words, more than half of Australia's universities are rated among the best in the world for research.
Ranking Method and Value
The Shanghai ARWU rankings objectively measure the calibre of research staff and the quality and volume of publications. Unlike web rankings, the data relate to official academic journals.
For students, the main value of the rankings is to identify prestigious universities. A degree from a prestigious institution can be more valuable in the job market. Other prestige rankings are produced by QS and Times Higher Education.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University's ranking is exclusively based on research-related indicators. The ranking does not include data from the humanities, as this would favour universities in English-speaking countries.