Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

For a university to be ranked in ARTU, it must have a distinct rank in each of the THE, QS and ARWU rankings for the year. Furthermore, to be ranked by ARTU 2018-2020 the QS rank must be in the Top 500, and for ARTU 2012-2017 the QS rank must be in the Top 400. Universities ranked in QS beyond 400 or 500 cannot be included in ARTU due to limited data on component scores released by the ranking agency. Only aggregate scores of the ARTU Top 400 universities are published in 2020. Visit the ARTU methodology page for more information: If you believe your university should be ranked amongst the top 400 by ARTU, then please contact UNSW Sydney’s Division of Research (
Prior to 2020, only the results of the Top 200 ranked universities were published in ARTU. This was increased to the Top 400 in 2020 based on feedback.
The arithmetic average is not suited to describe the overall performance of an institution across THE, QS, and ARWU where the institution is compared to a different group of peers from one ranking to another. The arithmetic average rank of an institution across these three rankings does not follow a normal (parametric) distribution and is generally worse than the corresponding aggregate rank adopted by ARTU. ARTU treats the data using a non-parametric approach through ordinal ranking, ordering universities by their aggregate score. Consequently, the aggregate rank of a university is less sensitive to anomalies in the performance of other universities, thus providing a more realistic position of a university in comparison to its peers.
For universities whose rank is published as a range by THE and ARWU, the overall score is recalculated from the component scores according to the corresponding component weighting. The overall score is then ranked in descending order. Universities with an existing distinct rank are not affected by this process. For ARWU, the adjusted component weighting applied to institutions specialising in humanities and social sciences, such as the London School of Economics, has been accounted for in this process. Recalculation of distinct ranks is not possible for QS due to the limited availability of data on component scores released by the ranking agency. Universities with a QS rank beyond 400 or 500 (depending on the year) are therefore not considered by ARTU. Visit the ARTU methodology page for more information:
Universities formed through a merger are considered as new entities and are ranked separate from the founding institutions. For example, Sorbonne University was established in 2018 by a merger of Paris-Sorbonne University, Pierre et Marie Curie University, along with other institutions. As a result of the merger, Sorbonne University is only ranked from ARTU 2018 and onwards, while its component entities Pierre et Marie Curie University and Paris-Sorbonne university no longer exist as standalone universities and are thus only ranked in ARTU 2012-2017.
A university system is a set of multiple affiliated universities and colleges. For example, the University of California (UC) system is composed of several campuses: UC Berkley, UC Los Angeles etc. All university systems are individually reviewed by the ARTU data team. Where a university system/campus is featured as the same entity across THE, QS and ARWU, then the university system/campus is ranked by ARTU. However, if the university system is featured in one ranking, while its campuses appear in other rankings, then neither the university system nor their campuses are ranked by ARTU. In the above example, UC Berkley is the same entity across THE, QS and ARWU, and thus it is eligible for ARTU. However, the University of Massachusetts is not eligible for ARTU as THE only ranks the University of Massachusetts system as a whole, while ARWU and QS ranks individual campuses within the system (e.g. Amherst, Boston, Lowell, and Worcester).
The arithmetic sum for all universities ranked in THE & ARWU, and in the Top 500 in QS is calculated prior to determining the ARTU rank. This means a university does not need to be ranked in the Top 400 of any of the individual rankings to be ranked in the Top 400 in ARTU. Examples of this in the 2020 ARTU release are: University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Chung-Ang University (CAU), Kobe University, and University of Coimbra (UC). Visit the ARTU methodology page for more information:
Please contact UNSW Sydney’s Division of Research (