Ghent University remains the highest ranked Belgian university in the Academic Ranking of World Universities

Ghent University remains the highest ranked Belgian university in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. This year, Ghent University is ranked 74th in this list of more than 2,500 research institutions from around the world.

Ghent University remains the highest ranked Belgian university in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. This year, Ghent University is ranked 74th in this list of more than 2,500 research institutions from around the world.

In 2010, Ghent University was the first Belgian university to enter the top 100 of the so-called Shanghai Ranking (it was then ranked 90th) and it has remained the highest ranked university in the country ever since.

As in previous years, Ghent University has earned its position in the Shanghai Ranking largely thanks to its considerable number of academic publications. In addition, the presence of scholars and academics who are frequently cited by others and the number of publications in prominent journals such as Nature and Science have also contributed to this.


With its 74th place in the ranking, Ghent University finds itself in the company of leading European institutions such as the universities of Aarhus, Heidelberg and Bonn.
The university ranking is led - almost as a matter of tradition - by Harvard University (USA) and Stanford University (USA).

About the Shanghai Ranking

Since 2003, an Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is drawn up annually. This year’s ranking compared more than 2,500 higher education institutions, of which the names of the 1,000 best institutions are published as part of the ranking.

The criteria for this ranking include the number of Nobel Prizes won by alumni and professors, the number of prominent publications and the number of widely cited researchers.

Ranking by discipline: Veterinary Medicine continues to lead the way

The Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, which ranks universities by discipline, was also published earlier this year. In this ranking of 54 disciplines, Ghent University achieved a score in the top 50 for 10 disciplines, including first place for Veterinary Medicine for the sixth year in a row.

The other disciplines in the top 50 are: Nursing (10), Agricultural Sciences (13), Food Science & Technology (19), Education (25), Communication (33), Biotechnology (39), Marine and Ocean Engineering (40), Psychology (45) and Remote Sensing (50).

Out of a total of 54 disciplines analysed in the ranking, Ghent University is among the top 100 for 23 disciplines.

About rankings in general

The position in a ranking largely depends on the chosen parameters, the weight assigned to these parameters, the statistical method used to process these data, and the reliability of the source data. Any ranking can be easily undermined by, for example, changing the parameters or assigning a different weight to them. A key point for attention with regard to this ranking is the use of indicators based on absolute numbers, which results in larger institutions scoring better. In addition, this ranking is mainly focused on research parameters, which means that the other sub-aspects of higher education institutions (education, economic and social impact, etc.) are not measured.

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