TWU College Ranking Internet Experiment (C.R.I.E.)

Few factors have as much of an influence on an incoming undergraduates’ decision of which university to attend as higher education rankings. For many prospective students, prestige and reputation play some of the biggest roles in their college decision. Applying to all Ivy League schools, or all “top 10” or “top 20” schools has become a common way to go about the application process for high-performing students.

But no single ranking is flawless. Rankings such as Reuters’ “The World’s Most Innovative Universities” place emphasis on different factors than Times Higher Education’s “World University Rankings” or the University of Leiden’s ranking of scientific impact.

Because of these and many other differences, universities may score highly in some rankings but considerably lower in others. The World Uncensored decided to take a look at 9 global university rankings and see where universities end up when we combine them all.

Note how the range of scores for each individual university varies greatly. Some universities may have over 100 spots separating their highest-performing from their lowest-performing ranking.

This goes to show that, while college rankings play an incredibly important role in decisions on which institution to attend for students and faculty, as well as decisions about funding and investment, these rankings are far from perfect and the position a university comes out in depends heavily on who sets the rules of the ranking and what they think are important factors.

This new ranking is not so much intended to be just another list of colleges but instead is meant to show how different existing rankings agree and disagree about the “quality” of various institutions.

The Methodology for this ranking is as follows.

This is by no means a perfect ranking and in many ways may be “incorrect” or more flawed than the individual rankings to begin with. It is solely an experiment with data that is openly available on the internet. It should not form the basis for any decisions that will have real-world impacts. Again: this ranking (like all others) should be viewed with curiosity but also with distance and caution.

Therefore, without any further ado, here is the March 2020 The World Uncensored World University Ranking:


1 – Harvard University

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning Harvard: 9/9
Average rank: 1.9
Highest score: 1st (CWUR, ARWU, RUR, A3, Leiden, URAP, Webometrics)
Lowest score: 7th (THE)
Range of scores: 6

2 – Stanford University

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning Stanford: 9/9
Average rank: 3.5
Highest score: 1st (Reuters)
Lowest score: 11th (Leiden)
Range of scores: 10

3 – Oxford, University of

Country: UK
Rankings mentioning Oxford: 9/9
Average rank: 8.7
Highest score: 1st (THE)
Lowest score: 32nd (Reuters)
Range of scores: 31

4 – MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning MIT: 9/9
Average rank: 8.9
Highest score: 1st (QS)
Lowest score: 57th (Leiden)
Range of scores: 56

5 – Cambridge, University of

Country: UK
Rankings mentioning Cambridge: 9/9
Average rank: 9.5
Highest score: 3rd (THE, ARWU, A3)
Lowest score: 25th (Leiden)
Range of scores: 22

6 – Johns Hopkins University

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning Johns Hopkins: 9/9
Average rank: 13.5
Highest score: 6th (Scimago)
Lowest score: 24th (QS)
Range of scores: 18

7 – U Penn, University of Pennsylvania

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning U Penn: 9/9
Average rank: 13.7
Highest score: 4th (Reuters)
Lowest score: 24th (Leiden)
Range of scores: 20

8 – University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, where specified)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning U Mich: 9/9
Average rank: 15.4
Highest score: 6th (Leiden, Webometrics)
Lowest score: 24th (RUR)
Range of scores: 18

9 – Columbia University

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning Columbia: 9/9
Average rank: 15.5
Highest score: 6th (CWUR)
Lowest score: 33rd (Leiden)
Range of scores: 27

10 – UCL, University College London

Country: UK
Rankings mentioning UCL: 9/9
Average rank: 15.5
Highest score: 3rd (URAP)
Lowest score: 31st (Reuters)
Range of scores: 28

11 – Yale University

Country: US
Rankings mentioning Yale: 9/9
Average rank: 18.2
Highest score: 5th (RUR)
Lowest score: 46th (Leiden)
Range of scores: 41

12 – Cornell University

Country: US
Rankings mentioning Cornell: 9/9
Average rank: 18.5
Highest score: 9th (Reuters)
Lowest score: 39th (Leiden)
Range of scores: 30

13 – UCLA, University of California Los Angeles

Country: US
Rankings mentioning UCLA: 9/9
Average rank: 18.5
Highest score: 11th (ARWU)
Lowest score: 35th (QS)
Range of scores: 24

14 – Berkeley, University of California

Country: US
Rankings mentioning Berkely: 8/9 (not in Reuters top 100)
Average rank: 19.8
Highest score: 4th (Webometrics)
Lowest score: 52nd (RUR)
Range of scores: 48

15 – U of T, University of Toronto

Country: Canada
Rankings mentioning U of T: 9/9
Average rank: 20.3
Highest score: 2nd (URAP)
Lowest score: 59th (RUR)
Range of scores: 57

16 – Imperial College London

Country: UK
Rankings mentioning Imperial: 9/9
Average rank: 21.5
Highest score: 3rd (RUR)
Lowest score: 56th (Webometrics)
Range of scores: 53

17 – UW, University of Washington (Seattle, where specified)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning UW: 9/9
Average rank: 22
Highest score: 5th (Webometrics)
Lowest score: 68th (QS)
Range of scores: 63

18 – Duke University

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning Duke: 8/9 (not in RUR)
Average rank: 37.9
Highest score: 19th (Webometrics)
Lowest score: 42nd (Leiden)
Range of scores: 23

19 – University of Chicago

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning U Chicago: 9/9
Average rank: 27.9
Highest score: 9th (THE)
Lowest score: 102nd (Leiden)

20 – ETH Zürich

Country: Switzerland
Rankings mentioning ETH Zürich: 8/9 (missing from Scimago)
Average rank: 29
Highest score: 6th (QS)
Lowest score: 73 (Leiden)
Range of scores: 67


Runners up:

UCSD, University of California San Diego (Tentative 21st)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning UCSD: 8/9 (not on Reuters top 100)
Average rank: 30
Highest score: 16th (Webometrics)
Lowest score: 65th (RUR)
Range of scores: 49

Northwestern University (Tentative 22nd)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning Northwestern: 9/9
Average rank: 30.4
Highest score: 15th (CWUR, RUR)
Lowest score: 53rd (Leiden)
Range of scores: 38

University of Tokyo (Tentative 23rd)

Country: Japan
Rankings mentioning Tokyo: 9/9
Average rank: 30.4
Highest score: 13th (CWUR)
Lowest score: 67th (Webometrics)
Range of scores: 54

Tsinghua University (Tentative 24th)

Country: China
Rankings mentioning Tsinghua: 9/9
Average rank: 31-9
Highest score: 5th (Leiden, Scimago)
Lowest score: 70th (CWUR)
Range of scores: 65

University of Wisconsin, Madison where specified (Tentative 25th)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning U Wisconsin: 9/9
Average rank: 35.5
Highest score: 14th (Webometrics)
Lowest score: 56th (QS)
Range of scores: 42

Peking University (Tentative 26th)

Country: China
Rankings mentioning Peking: 9/9
Average rank: 38.2
Highest score: 9th (Leiden)
Lowest score: 75th (A3)
Range of scores: 66

NYU, New York University (Tentative 27th)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning NYU: 8/9 (not in Reuters top 100)
Average rank: 40.5
Highest score: 24th (Webometrics)
Lowest score: 80th (Leiden)
Range of scores: 56

UBC, University of British Columbia (Tentative 28th)

Country: Canada
Rankings mentioning UBC: 9/9
Average rank: 40.6
Highest score: 27th (URAP)
Lowest score: 63rd (RUR)
Range of scores: 37

Caltech, California Institute of Technology (Tentative 29th)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning Caltech: 9/9
Average rank: 42.3
Highest score: 2nd (THE, RUR)
Lowest score: 203rd (Leiden)
Range of scores: 201

University of Texas, Austin where specified (Tentative 30th)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning UT: 8/9 (not in RUR)
Average rank: 44.5
Highest score: 11th (Reuters)
Lowest score: 70th (Leiden)
Range of scores: 59

Edinburgh, University of (Tentative 31st)

Country: UK
Rankings mentioning Edinburgh: 8/9 (not in Reuters top 100)
Average rank: 45.2
Highest score: 20th (QS)
Lowest score: 107th (Leiden)
Range of scores: 87

UNC Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina (Tentative 32nd)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning UNC Chapel Hill: 9/9
Average rank: 45.3
Highest score: 6th (Reuters)
Lowest score: 90th (QS)
Range of scores: 84

NUS, National University of Singapore (Tentative 33rd)

Country: Singapore
Rankings mentioning NUS: 9/9
Average rank: 48.5
Highest score: 11th (QS)
Lowest score: 85th (CWUR)
Range of scores: 74

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where specified (Tentative 34th)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning U Minnesota: 9/9
Average rank: 48.8
Highest score: 17th (Webometrics)
Lowest score: 156th (QS)
Range of scores: 139

Princeton University (Tentative 35th)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning Princeton: 9/9
Average rank: 50.4
Highest score: 6th (THE, ARWU, A3)
Lowest score: 201st (Leiden)

Copenhagen, University of (Tentative 36th)

Country: Denmark
Rankings mentioning Copenhagen: 7/9 (not in RUR, Reuters top 100)
Average rank: 50.6
Highest score: 18th (URAP)
Lowest score: 101st (THE)
Range of scores: 83

Washignton University in St. Louis (Tentative 37th)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning St. Louis: 8/9 (not in Reuters top 10)
Average rank: 52.6
Highest score: 20th (RUR)
Lowest score: 108th (QS)
Range of scores: 88

Kyoto University (Tentative 38th)

Country: Japan
Rankings mentioning Kyoto: 9/9
Average rank: 55.4
Highest score: 21st (CWUR)
Lowest score: 103rd (Webometrics)
Range of scores: 82

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where specified (Tentative 39th)

Country: USA
Rankings mentioning U Illinois: 9/9
Average rank: 57.1
Highest score: 20th (CWUR)
Lowest score: 169th (RUR)
Range of scores: 149

Seoul National University (Tentative 40th)

Country: R.O. Korea
Rankings mentioning SNU: 9/9
Average rank: 58.7
Highest score: 10th (Leiden)
Lowest score: 125th (ARWU, Webometrics)
Range of scores: 115

KCL, King’s College London (Tentative 41st)

Karolinska Institute (Tentative 42nd)

USC, University of Southern California (Tentative 43rd)

KU Leuven (Tentative 44th)

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Tentative 45th)

EPFL, Swiss Federal lnstitute of Technology Lausanne (Tentative 46th)

Penn State, Pennsylvania State University (Tentative 47th)

Vanderbilt University (Tentative 48th)

Fudan University (Tentative 49th)

University of Hong Kong (Tentative 50th)

A3 only ranks the top 10 universities individually. Later, they are grouped as “top 20” or “top 50”. For these, mid-points were taken for the “rank” in the average. For example: Top 20 = “15”; Top 50 = “35”

This page is work in progress. Ultimately, TWU hopes to provide more detailed insights into the statistics for each of these universities. Bit by bit, links will be added to other sites to explain in more detail TWU’s findings.