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Photo: Mattias Jacobsson

Among the top universities in Sweden


According to the US ranking list Best Global Universities, the University of Gothenburg ranks 134th in the world this year. Since 2015, the university has climbed 138 places. The main explanation is a clearly higher citation rate in medicine and science.

This is the first time that investigator Magnus MacHale-Gunnarsson has analysed the results from the rankings made annually by the journal U.S. News &World Report (published October 26, 2021).

"This is because the list has had a relatively large impact in a short period of time. Other higher education institutions are starting to talk about it. In the US, the sister survey best colleges gets huge attention, and serves as a guide for all college students".

Best Global Universities measures research, mainly through bibliometrics, but also partly through reputational surveys, where GU falls short. 

"We are either not so well known in the world or we have not organized our research groups in a way that fits this ranking. It is often important to be large throughout the scientific field. In addition, it is the size of research in medicine and natural beauty that governs. The indicators are designed so that the size of the university, measured in the number of publications in Web of Science, has an influence. It disadvantages a university like GU with a relatively small faculty of science. But despite that, GU is strong in bibliometrics", emphasizes Magnus MacHale-Gunnarsson.

GU qualifies for fifth place in Sweden, just behind Stockholm University. The fact that GU has taken great strides in the ranking, from place 272 in 2015 to place 134 this year, is largely due to an improved citation rate.

"It is clearly an improvement in bibliometrics, which is not due to a method change in the ranking. GU has also increased in volume, but the citation rate is most striking".

To rise further on the list requires more publications and citations, but the greatest potential is in the reputation survey.

"There is plenty of potential for improvements there", says Magnus MacHale-Gunnarsson.

When it comes to the subject ranking in Best Global Universities, GU is on 22 of 43 subject lists, of which the best placement has Endocrinology and Metabolism (11) and Neuroscience and Behavior (28).

Allan Eriksson