Functions of the Academic Ranking of World Universities

  • General Global Rankings
  • Specialized Subject Rankings
  • Regional Rankings
  • Online Resources
  • International Conference

The Academic Ranking of World Universities is an organization devoted to ranking and determining the best colleges and universities on a global scale. When you look at information about a college, you might notice a ranking from ARWU, which is the abbreviation of this organization. It also ranks schools on a regional scale, ranks specialized subject areas and performs other functions annually.

General Global Rankings

One of the main duties of the Academic Ranking of World Universities is the global ranking of colleges and universities that the organization puts out every year. The ARWU weighs different factors, including the success of alumni, awards won by faculty, the number of articles published in academic journals by alumni, current students and faculty and its overall academic performance. American colleges like Harvard and Princeton routinely make this list, but the list also includes colleges in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Japan, Canada and other countries.

Specialized Subject Rankings

ARWU also releases rankings for broad and specific subject areas. Students can use these rankings to get an idea of which schools offer the most opportunities. Broad fields include math and natural sciences, life and agricultural sciences, computer science and engineering, social sciences and pharmacy and clinical medicine. While some complain that these subject areas are too broad and include too many topics, the organization also offers ranking for specialized or specific fields of study, including math, physics, chemistry, computer science and business, which also includes economics.

Regional Rankings

Few people realize that the Academic Ranking of World Universities also does a regional ranking of colleges in Greater China and the Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia. The organization ranks colleges in China based on factors like the amount of money each school spends on annual research, its annual operating budget, the number of teachers to students, how many graduate students enroll and the number of advanced degrees awarded. For the Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, ARWU ranks those schools based on research funds given to professors, amount of money spent on individual students, experience of staff and resources available to students.

Online Resources

The official website of the Academic Ranking of World Universities provides students and teachers with a number of resources, including links to its most recent rankings, information on how it ranks colleges and lists of globally ranked schools within a specific region or country. Certain countries have links to other information too. Those living in the United States can view the rankings issued by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and Washington Monthly. They can see how those schools rank nationally and compare each ranking to the school’s global ranking.

International Conference

ARWU is also responsible for the International Conference on World-Class Universities, which is a conference that takes place every year. Its 10th anniversary conference took place in Shanghai at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which appeared on its list of the top global colleges. The event brings together administrators, educators and policy makers to talk about international issues, including the popularity of online classes, governments cracking down on for-profit schools and new methods of teaching advanced subjects to students. Its conferences often talk about new forms of technology within the education field too.

The ARWU is a major organization that is responsible for putting out a list of the top colleges in the world. It uses factors like how alumni perform in the real world and the backgrounds of professors. The Academic Ranking of World Universities also releases lists of regional schools, ranks specialized programs, holds an annual conferences and offers online resources for educators, students and administrators.

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