Why UU is missing in the THE ranking

Domtoren gezien vanaf de Vismarkt in Utrecht

You may have heard: Utrecht University has not been included in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking 2024.

Too much stress on competition

UU has chosen not to submit data. A conscious choice:

  • Rankings put too much stress on scoring and competition, while we want to focus on collaboration and open science.
  • In addition, it is almost impossible to capture the quality of an entire university with all the different courses and disciplines in one number.
  • Also, the makers of the rankings use data and methods that are highly questionable, research shows. For example, universities have to spend a lot of time providing the right information.

What are further reasons for not participating? How are other universities dealing with this? And what is the position of university association UNL? DUB wrote an informative article (Dutch). UNL shared this position earlier as well as an advisory report (pdf, Dutch) to deal responsibly with rankings. In addition, AD wrote the article 'Utrecht University no longer appears in world rankings and this is why' (Dutch, paywall).

Sticking together

It is important that universities - more so than now - join forces when it comes to dealing responsibly with rankings (in line with the aforementioned advice from UNL). We advise students to mainly compare the content and nature of programmes and researchers to look at the nature and quality of research programmes.

Three questions about UU's absence from the THE ranking

More in-depth information

Jeroen Bosman, information specialist at Utrecht University Library, offers more background info on X (formerly known as Twitter). Click here to open the tweets.