Five Dutch universities rank in the top 100 of universities with the best reputation worldwide, according to British magazine Times Higher Education. The EUR is not one of them.

The TU Delft scores highest of the five, just like last year. Leiden University moved up in the rankings, while Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam dropped a little. As in the previous year, Wageningen is not the top 100.

Reputation among scientists

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings  is a derivative of the annual ranking of best universities in the world. In this spinoff, not only scientific impact and other measurable ‘facts’ are used as criteria. Reputation in the scientific community is considered as well. The reputation factor is important enough for the Times Higher Education (THE) to have dedicated a separate ranking to it for several years now.

Objective indicators

Jacco Neleman, Press Secretary of the EUR, acknowledges that reputation is important: “Apparently the value of the quality produced at this university is not recognized among peers. Of course we would prefer if they did. But as a university, we are more concerned with rankings based on more objective indicators.”

Neleman is referring to, among others, the World Universities Rankings from THE. The EUR scored very high in this ranking last October. This ranking focuses primarily on research and also on education. Why the reputation among scientists is not congruent with the results of a more objective scoring system is difficult to interpret, says Neleman. “However, reputation follows if quality leads. If you continue to invest in education and research, you would expect reputation to improve as well.”

No Harvard or Cambridge

In last year’s regular THE-ranking seven Dutch universities ranked in the top 100 and twelve scored in the top 200. But only five made it into the ‘reputation top 100’. Still, a remarkable performance, comments THE editor Phil Baty. “The Netherlands is second only to the United States, Great Britain and Australia.” However, not one Dutch university really sticks out as an elite institution. “There is no Harvard or Cambridge in the Netherlands,” concludes Baty. HOP/TF

Universities in The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2013

 TU Delft

 Leiden University

 University of Amsterdam  81-90
 Utrecht University

 Wageningen University