Monday, September 10

The World Universities' ranking on the Web (Stanford Rules!)

Top 4000 Universities:
Methodology used:

The Webometrics Ranking (of World Universities) is being published since 2004 on a regular basis (every 6 months) using the web data as indicator of the visibility and impact of the activities of the universities, colleges and research institutions worldwide...

The Ranking's original aim was to show the commitment of these organizations to the electronic publication, the open access to scientific results and the internationalization of their activities. As other rankings are more focused on World Class Universities, our purpose is to offer an extended coverage including information about the developing countries' institutions.

Webometrics' editors are very surprised to discover that Web indicators are not taken into account at all in the evaluation of the universities... The problem is really serious as the data shows a larger than expected academic digital divide affecting also to many developed countries including EU ones and Japan...

The ranking is based on a combined indicator that takes into account both the volume of the Web contents and the visibility and impact of this web publications according to the number of external inlinks (sitations) they received. The ranking is updated every January and July, providing Web indicators for universities and research centres worldwide.

The WR is produced by the Cybermetrics Lab (CINDOC), a unit of the National Research Council (CSIC), the main public research body in Spain. The Lab acts as an Observatory of the Science and Technology on the Web.

Top 5 (July 2007)?

  1. Stanford University
  2. MIT
  3. University of California Berkeley
  4. Harvard University
  5. Pennsylvania State University

Interestingly, ALL the Top 20 Universities according to the Webometrics Ranking (WR) are American! University of Cambridge managed only to get 21st place, and good old Oxford University could amazingly only achieve 40th place (The British Empire is certainly struggling on the Web if we should take WR seriously!). It should also be noted that Harvard still rules in the comparative analysis according to Productivity, Visibility and Impact.

If you look closer at my blog, and explore the right column a bit, I suppose you have one indicator why American Universities dominate the Web according to WR. The key success factor I would argue (according to my understanding) is the willingness, goals, strategies, and actions taken (and financial support provided) by these Universities (or their people) to participate in the Open Educational Resources (OER) global revolution. In other words, to improve ones ranking (WR way!) one needs to SHARE KNOWLEDGE beyond the borders of the University. Why educate only your students, when with today's technologies you can share your knowledge or resources to every corner of the world (Educate the World!). Let's face it content is only one part of the learning process!

Now, let's move one to South-East Asia (Scary!). Below is a selection (interest factor!) of the Regional and Global Ranking of South-East Asia according to the Webometrics Ranking (WR) of World Universities. Click here to download the top 100 list of universities belonging to the South-East of Asia (as of July 2007).

South-East Asia - Top 100
1. (WR: 158 ) National University of Singapore (NUS)
2. (WR: 459 ) Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
3. (WR: 516 ) Kasetsart University
14. (WR: 1125) Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
15. (WR: 1140) Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
16. (WR: 1155) Multimedia University (MMU)
18. (WR: 1301) University Putra Malaysia (UPM)
19. (WR: 1444) University Malaya (UM)
21. (WR: 1566) University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
27. (WR: 1918) International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
35. (WR: 2175) Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
40. (WR: 2328) Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)
42. (WR: 2335) Singapore Management University (SMU)
53. (WR: 2802) Universiti Tenaga Nasional
66. (WR: 3360) Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
69. (WR: 3447) Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)
70. (WR: 3449) Monash University Malaysia
84 (WR: 4045) Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)
85. (WR: 4099) Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR)
91. (WR: 4283) Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP)
93. (WR: 4359) Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)
98. (WR: 4484) Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)

Hmm, if WR really means something to South-East Asia, we should perhaps explore the best practices provided on the site (Perhaps a few minor tweaks to our online content management can do wonders!). If not, we could always dwell upon other University type of rankings and feel better. On the positive side, if WR is important to us, we only have one way to go: UP! :)


Downes said...

I wouldn't expect an American rating service to find any other result. By the same token, I wouldn't trust an American rating service to (fairly) compare services that are American with services that are not American.

Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Dear Stephen Downes,

Again thanks for your feedback and reflections :)

In other words (I think!), we should perhaps not take this rating so seriously (But of course we could learn the game) :)

Warm Regards,


Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Dear Stephen Downes,

Just wondering is WR really an American rating service?

"The WR is produced by the Cybermetrics Lab (CINDOC), a unit of the National Research Council (CSIC), the main public research body in Spain. The Lab acts as an Observatory of the Science and Technology on the Web." Source:

Thanks :)

Warm Regards,


hanum said...

Top 5 Webometrics January 2010 in Indonesia:
1. Universitas Gadjah Mada
2. Institute of Technology Bandung
3. University of Indonesia
4. Petra Christian University
5. Gunadarma University