Ghent University remains highest-ranked in Belgium, KU Leuven also in top 100

Ghent University remains highest-ranked in Belgium, KU Leuven also in top 100
The University of Ghent remains the highest ranked institution in Belgium. Credit: Belga

The University of Ghent (UGent) and KULeuven have both kept their place in the top 100 of the Shanghai ranking of Academic Ranking of World Universities, however, both Flemish institutions lost ground.

UGent, which in 2010 was the first Belgian university to enter the top 100 of the so-called Shanghai Ranking (then ranked 90), ranked 74th in 2022, while KULeuven is positioned 95th. The list, published on Monday, includes more than 2,500 research institutions.

"As in previous years, Ghent University mainly owes its position in this ranking to its large number of scientific publications. The presence of scientists who are very often quoted by others and the number of publications in the top journals Nature and Science also contribute to this," a press release from the university read.

Tweet translation: "UGent confirms its position as the first Belgian university in the Academic Ranking of World Universities #ShanghaiRanking."

The university in Ghent dropped from 66 in 2020 to 71 in 2021 and has now lost a further three places, while KULeuven ranked 87th last year (up by ten places from 97 in 2020), meaning it has dropped three places.

US-led ranking

The first other Belgian universities on the list are Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), ranked between 101 and 150, and the French-speaking UCL and UAntwerpen are ranked between 201 and 300.

American universities tend to dominate the ranking, as is the case this year. Harvard University, located in Boston, has been named the best university in the world for the 20th year in a row, while Stanford University is second and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) rounds off the top three.

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The other institutions in the top ten are American: Berkeley (5), Princeton (6), Columbia (8), California Institute of Technology (9) and the University of Chicago (10). The entire top 100 comprises 39 American institutions. Meanwhile, Université Paris-Saclay is the first non-Anglo university at position 16.

Among the six criteria used by Shanghai are the number of Nobel Prize winners based at the university, the number of most-cited scientists in their discipline and the number of publications in the scientific journals Science and Nature.

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