UP repeats its best placing in the Shanghai Rankings

Illustrational photo: Žurnál UP
Wednesday 19 August 2020, 8:18 – Text: Martina Šaradínová

The 501st to 600th place in the world and second place in the national comparison of universities – these are the results of Palacký University in the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020 (ARWU). The oldest Moravian university has repeated its historically best placing made last year.

“Palacký University’s placement in the global rankings is a sign that the path we have taken is successful and clearly leads to the goal. The fact that UP is second in the Czech Republic in this prestigious ranking and that it is capable of competing in a number of areas should also be our obligation in the future. However, this also means that further advancement will require the enormous efforts of the entire academic community, especially in areas where we are lacking. Therefore, I perceive the result as the fruit of our joint long-term work, but at the same time as a commitment,” commented UP Rector Jaroslav Miller.

ARWU, also known as the Shanghai Rankings, compares one thousand world universities, focussing on their scientific performance. As in the past, Harvard University dominated the rankings; second and third place were defended by Stanford University and the University of Cambridge, respectively. In the TOP 15, U.S. universities confirmed their dominance. Czech higher education was represented by seven universities. Charles University is the best Czech university in the rankings (201st to 300th positions). Masaryk University (601st to 700th) again occupies third place after UP; UP was ranked for the first time four years ago (see table).

  Overall Placing
2017
Overall Placing
2018
Overall Placing
2019
Overall Placing
2020
Charles University in Prague 201st-300th 201st-300th 201st-300th 201st-300th
Palacký University Olomouc 601st-700th 601st-700th 501st-600th 501st-600th
Masaryk University in Brno 601st-700th 501st-600th 601st-700th 601st-700th
Czech Technical University in Prague 601st-700th 601st-700th 701st-800th 701st-800th
Czech University of Life Sciences - 901st-1000th 901st-1000th 801st-900th
University of Chemistry and Technology - 901st-1000th 701st-800th 901st-1000th
University of South Bohemia - 901st-1000th 901st-1000th 901st-1000th

First in material sciences and agriculture in the Czech context

The Shanghai rankings also rank universities in individual disciplines within the natural sciences, technical sciences, life sciences, medical sciences, and social sciences.

“An important indicator that helped us secure the second position in the rankings of domestic universities was particularly our numbers in the Highly Cited Researchers database. At the same time, it is gratifying that in the evaluation of results in some fields, we got to the first position in the country, such as in Materials Science & Engineering and in Agricultural Science, where we share first place with Charles University. This confirms the quality of scientific work at our university, so we owe thanks to all those who contributed to these results,” added Hana Marešová, UP Vice-Rector for Strategic Planning and Quality.

In the new category Materials Science & Engineering, UP occupies the 301st to 400th positions in the world. In Agricultural Sciences, UP excels at the 151st to 200th places in the world. In Physics, UP ranks 201st to 300th in the world; in the national comparison, it shares the second place with Czech Technical University after Charles University. The second position in the domestic comparison has also been achieved in Chemistry, globally ranking on the 401st to 500th positions in this field. In Ecology, UP has moved up a hundred places compared to the previous year, and now ranks 301st to 400th. UP further ranks 401st to 500th in Biological Sciences as well as in Public Health, in which it ranks second in the Czech Republic after Charles University. The same position was achieved in the global comparison in the field of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, where UP is third in the country after Charles University and Masaryk University.

The history of the very first international ranking of universities goes back to 2003. Initial analyses took place at the University of Shanghai, and since 2009 the data have been processed by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Together with QS World University Rankings and THE World University Rankings, ARWU is one of the three most important rankings that compare the quality of universities on the basis of several indicators, including the number of articles published in the journals Nature and Science and citations from publications. ARWU also monitors, among other things, the number of the most cited scientists in the Highly Cited Researchers database and the number of Nobel Prize winners associated with the institution.

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