Palacký University Again Among 500 Most Prestigious Universities

Illustrative photo: Ota Blahoušek
Friday 11 November 2016, 10:30 - Text: Martina Šaradínová

Palacký University has again succeeded in international university rankings. The journal U.S. News features UP among the 500 most respected universities in the world, while on the national scale, UP has placed second, after Charles University in Prague. Last year, the oldest Moravian university reached the “bronze” position, however this year UP managed to surpass Czech Technical University in Prague. Olomouc’s university broke through the top 300 universities in chemistry, botany, and zoology.

The 2016 U.S. News Best Global Universities Rankings list Palacký University at number 494. Charles University in Prague as in the previous year is the domestic leader, placed 201st. The third among Czech universities, Czech Technical University in Prague, dropped from last year’s 399th position to number 535 this year. A pool of 1262 universities worldwide was used in the rankings, and only the top 1000 schools, from 65 countries, were ranked.

“Compared to the previous year, the rankings encompassed 250 more universities. In this context, the position of Palacký University may be assessed as stable. Although globally there was a certain drop, we are still present among the most prestigious 500. And on the national scale, we have even improved one position,” said Zuzana Polanská, from the UP Strategy Support Office, who specialises in rankings.

The best scores were made in Botany and Zoology, where UP placed 157th, being overrun only by Charles University in the Czech context. The same situation can was repeated in Chemistry, where UP was listed at 297, number two in the Czech context. In Physics, UP was also superseded by Czech Technical University in Prague and ended up as 314th globally. Similarly to previous rankings, the success of UP was based on its performance especially in the natural sciences, where a high number of publications reached the top 10 or even top 1 percent of the most cited works in the field, as well as on broad international collaboration. In some of these indicators, Olomouc scientists outperformed even their colleagues from Charles University.

“The rankings are based on data and metrics provided by Clarivate Analytics InCites research analytics solutions (formerly Thomson Reuters InCites). The rankings employ 12 indicators; however their structure has been altered. A novelty is the percentage of total publications that are among the top 1 percent of most highly cited papers; on the contrary, indicators related to the number of postgraduate students have been dismissed. A reputation survey, rating by global academics, is also taken into account,” explained Polanská.

Apart from Palacký University and Charles University, other domestic universities that joined the global club of the top 1000 schools were Masaryk University in Brno, South Bohemia University in České Budějovice, and Czech Technical University in Prague.