Well! An issue with the PhD rankings is that they do not exist.
You can use the overall rankings of the university to notify the PhD search. (I have put tables according to different performances). However, the overall results will not be particular to the university’s postgraduate program opportunities – or concentrate on the stuff you may care about as a PhD scholar.
If we need a PhD ranking, here I am going to share it with you.
Creating PhD Rankings
We need some good ideas to put the rankings together. Well!! There is no issue. The World University Ranking measures various amazing things about several universities.
All we need is a methodology for choosing the data that matters most to the PhD scholars. The individual metrics such as the number of PhD holders and research performance are of interest to us. We can see how different states compare as study abroad places and how much particular universities emphasize internationalization. From this point, it is only the case of result analysis.
Analysis, methodology, or data? It will be something like doing a short PhD. So, let’s start without delay!
#01 – Research Performance
Well! We know PhD is a research degree; thus, it stands to reason that a thing we must look at is the quality of academia’s research. And it happens because research is among the crucial aspects of THE (Times Higher Education) policy.
The metrics used are the measurement of the university’s research output and income, along with a survey of more than 22,000 researchers.
If we only focus on the research performance for the current year of 2021, we get a ranking that appears like the one mentioned below:
2021 THE World University PhD Rankings – Top Universities for Research
|8||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||5|
|5||California Institute of Technology||4|
|4||University of California, Berkeley||7|
|2||University of Cambridge||6|
|1||University of Oxford||1|
Perhaps predictably, these universities are ranked higher in overall tables (research is an essential part of what an academic does). However, it is interesting to see some places – like in China, Tsinghua, rising the table as we concentrate on this single metric.
Other rankings like ARWU and QS tables also measure the research metrics in different ways; however, I am going to keep things simple for this content.
#02 – Teaching Performance
The universities for PhD rankings using the teaching performance may appear strange. The PhD degree is all about research, right?
Yes, of course! However, some methodology the World University ranking uses for teaching is related to postgraduate scholars. Some of them measure the achievement and presence of postgraduate research academics.
Along with the general metrics like student/staff ratio, academic reputation, and income, Times Higher Educations looks at the proportion of PhD students to the undergraduate degree awarded and the number of PhD holders.
Slightly counterintuitively, it means that the metrics of teaching in THE ranking take in data related to the research degrees.
In this way, ranking universities lists the below mentioned top 10 universities:
2021 THE World University PhD Rankings – Top Universities for Teaching (along with PhDs)
|9||University of Chicago||10|
|7||University of Cambridge||6|
|6||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||5|
|5||University of Oxford||1|
|2||California Institute of Technology||4|
Again, all these institutions are well-ranked. There is no surprise that they are also expected to offer substantial research opportunities for PhD.
Don’t forget that this table is not specific for PhD training. Besides, it shows a broader statistic (such as student/staff ratios) that can be more related to undergraduate teaching.
#03 – Opportunities for Studying Abroad
Let us move away from particular metrics; let us look beyond individual institutions.
As a global comparison, the league tables also let us know how numerous countries compare, depending on the number and how high their institutions can rank.
In simple terms, let us see the prolific countries in the top 150 universities:
2021 THE World University PhD Rankings – Top Countries
|Country||Universities in the top 150||Top University|
|UK||18||University of Oxford (1)|
|USA||50||Stanford University (2)|
|Netherlands||10||Wageningen University & Research (=62)|
|Germany||17||LMU Munich (32)|
|Canada||7||University of Toronto (18)|
|Australia||8||University of Melbourne (31)|
|Switzerland||6||RTH Zurich (14)|
|China||7||Tsinghua University (=20)|
|France||4||Paris Sciences et Lettres (46)|
|Hong Kong||5||University of Hong Kong (39)|
The above table ranks countries depending on the number of their institutions in the top 150 of the 2021 World University Ranking. When two states have the same number of universities, they are ranked by individual ranking.
There is no surprise to see the UK and USA at the top of the list; however, would you expect the Netherlands and Germany to be close in 3rd and 4th place? Or for Asia to have three places in the top 10?
#04 – International Education
Let us look at studying the PhD abroad from a different perspective: which institutions invest more in international education?
Similar to the above, THE ranking includes an important metric for this. The score of ‘international outlook’ measures institutions on the number of international students and staff they recruit and their participation in worldwide projects.
Here are the top 10 universities ranked in this table:
2021 THE World University PhD Rankings – Top International Universities
|10||Queen Mary University of London||110|
|9||University of Basel||=92|
|8||Imperial College London||11|
|7||The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology||=56|
|4||Chinese University of Hong Kong||=56|
|3||École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne||43|
|2||University of Hong Kong||39|
|1||City University of Hong Kong||126|
The above table ranks institutions from the 2021 World University Ranking, depending only on the score of ‘international outlook.’ It includes only universities in the top 150, overall!
There is no surprise that diverse study places such as Switzerland and Hong Kong lead this ranking. Yet, it is exciting to see institutions from further down the rankings up into the top 10 while judging only international metrics.
The universities such as these are probably to foster particularly vibrant environments for research, giving opportunities for exchanging knowledge and other perspectives that inform as well as develop the PhD. Plus, they are likely well-established and welcoming places for studying abroad.
PhD Ranking – Conclusion
It is all about gathering the data and analyzing it: Is it a definitive PhD ranking? Well! Not in particular. We came up with a section of ‘sub-rankings’ that may measure some factors that matter the most for PhD scholars.
Notably, we can see which states are particularly famous for higher education systems. We have found some universities that ranked at internationalization. Both these can be beneficial if you plan to study abroad (Or casting a broad net for PhD search).
Possibly we have seen a strong relationship between the overall ranking and our particular top 10’s for teaching and research metrics.
Does it mean that a top-ranked institution is an excellent choice for your PhD? Well! No! it means that great research opportunities and best programs are not present at a diversity of institutions.
However, it does suggest that the PhD rankings are worth including in this piece of content. If you want to read more about PhD articles, click here.