A comparative analysis of global and national university ranking systems

ÇAKIR M. P. , ACARTÜRK C. , Alasehir O., Cilingir C.

SCIENTOMETRICS, vol.103, no.3, pp.813-848, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 103 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11192-015-1586-6
  • Title of Journal : SCIENTOMETRICS
  • Page Numbers: pp.813-848
  • Keywords: National university rankings, Global university rankings, Higher education, Rank similarity, WORLD-REPORT, POLICY


Recent interest towards university rankings has led to the development of several ranking systems at national and global levels. Global ranking systems tend to rely on internationally accessible bibliometric databases and reputation surveys to develop league tables at a global level. Given their access and in-depth knowledge about local institutions, national ranking systems tend to include a more comprehensive set of indicators. The purpose of this study is to conduct a systematic comparison of national and global university ranking systems in terms of their indicators, coverage and ranking results. Our findings indicate that national rankings tend to include a larger number of indicators that primarily focus on educational and institutional parameters, whereas global ranking systems tend to have fewer indicators mainly focusing on research performance. Rank similarity analysis between national rankings and global rankings filtered for each country suggest that with the exception of a few instances global rankings do not strongly predict the national rankings.