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University rankings: TU Graz in worldwide comparison

08/07/2019 | TU Graz people | University

By Ute Wiedner

Rankings are regarded as an indicator of a university’s standing. TU Graz has greatly improved its results in the last few years and in many areas is one of the best universities in the world.

International rankings list TU Graz as among the best universities in the world in particular research areas and in cooperation with science and industry.

Despite all the criticism often levelled at university rankings, their relevance and credibility, they still influence public debate about higher education and the academic system. Some 20,000 universities and colleges are analysed worldwide. Only a small part of these are included on the rankings lists. These often serve as orientation aids for decisions on where to study, career planning, cooperation or investment. For a current assessment of Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) it is worth taking a closer look, as the individual rankings differ greatly in focus and evaluation criteria.

Worldwide about 20,000 universities and colleges are analysed and only a small part of them are included in the rankings.

The many dimensions of a University

U-Multirank compares more than 1,700 leading universities and colleges from 96 countries. It does not come up with a ranking list, but is dedicated to the many dimensions of universities – research, study and teaching, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional commitment – and evaluates them individually according to 36 indicators between “excellent – A" and "weak – E". In the current ranking, TU Graz achieves 11 A and 10 B placings, making it one of the top universities in Austria.

On your rankings, get set, go...

This is no coincidence, since TU Graz decided a few years ago, as part of its university strategy, to take targeted measures to increase its presence in the rankings. "Our aim was to be at the top of all these rankings," explains Manuela Berner, the Rector’s assistant in the field of statistics and reporting. "Today, TU Graz has notable results in all strategically selected rankings such as the U-Multirank, the CWTS Leiden Ranking, the QS World University Ranking or the Times Higher Education World University Ranking (THE)", says Berner, "in individual research fields – as is currently the case in the Life and Earth Sciences of the Leiden Ranking – we achieve a world ranking of 15 – absolute top positions". In the current QS World University Ranking, TU Graz was even able to improve on the previous year by 52 places.

In the QS World University Ranking 2020 a total of 1,620 leading universities from 82 countries were analysed and 1,000 of them published in the ranking. The reputation, number of citations, supervision ratio and internationality of academic staff and students are decisive for the overall assessment. TU Graz is currently number 311 in the current ranking.

Research: highly regarded scholarly outlook

A good indicator of scholarly output and cooperation in research is the Leiden Ranking, which provides insights into the scholarly performance of nearly 1,000 leading universities worldwide. As a bibliometric ranking, its central parameter is the citation rate, which indicates how often publications by scholars from other research institutions are cited. The results of the Leiden Ranking in the last three years show that the scholastic output of researchers at TU Graz is attracting increasing attention in the academic world. Graz University of Technology has massively increased its share of publications among the most cited 10 percent: in 2016 it was still in 357th place, by 2019 it had risen to 220th place, making it one of the 99 top universities in Europe.

In the Leiden Ranking, which assesses the scholarly performance of universities, TU Graz is one of the top universities in Europe. The university in the heart of Europe bundles its research into five areas in which researchers work together across disciplines. Find out more about these Fields of Expertise.

Top 15: among the best unis in the geosciences

The results of the current Leiden ranking also show TU Graz to be one of the best universities in the life sciences and earth sciences in terms of the proportion of the top 10 percent of publications cited: With a world rank of 15, the "Life and Earth Sciences" at TU Graz are among the top research areas in international scientific exchange. After all, the field of "Mathematics and Computer Science" has a world ranking of 125, "Biomedical and Health Sciences" a world ranking of 131.

According to the Leiden Ranking, TU Graz counts among the 220 best universities of the world in terms of the proportion of publications cited in the top 10 percent. In the life and earth sciences, it counts among the top 15.

Well-placed: computer science, electronics and electrical engineering

Computer science, electrical engineering and electronics also perform particularly well at TU Graz: The research-oriented Shanghai Subject Ranking 2019 lists TU Graz in the subject fields "Computer Science & Engineering" and "Electrical & Electronic Engineering" in the ranking group 101-150. The Subject Ranking evaluates 60 percent based on the number of scientific publications and citations, with publications in the magazines "Science" or "Nature" being particularly important.

Strong cooperation with industry: entrepreneurial university

Rector Harald Kainz is delighted about the generally positive tendency of TU Graz in the international rankings and about the particular strengths of the small Austrian university compared to other universities worldwide. "The results of the most important international rankings confirm that we are not only working strategically on paper towards our goal of showing our profile in research, networking more closely with industry as an "entrepreneurial university" and entering into intensive cooperation, but that we are also putting this into practice.” For example, the collaboration indicators of the Leiden Ranking 2019 demonstrate the strength of TU Graz in its cooperation with industry and business. In the "Share of co-publications with industry”, TU Graz ranks 9th in the world and 4th in Europe, making it one of the best universities in Europe and the world. The result of the U-Multirank 2019 confirms this picture. Here, TU Graz is in the worldwide top 25 regarding publications with industry.

TU Graz is ranked 9th in the Leiden Ranking 2019 and in the category "TOP 25 Performer" in the share of joint publications with industry in the U-Multirank 2019. This makes it one of the best universities in the world in terms of cooperation with companies. The Research & Technology House of TU Graz is the central contact point for companies who want to make use of the expertise of TU Graz for their innovation plans.

Regional cooperation: anchored in the region

That TU Graz also works together intensively with regional partners in science and industry is also demonstrated in the Leiden Ranking in co-publications at smaller distances – under 100 kilometres. Here, the highly cooperative university with a world ranking of 159 heads the list in front of its benchmarking partners, such as RWTH Aachen or TU Munich.


To the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2019
To the QS World University Ranking 2020
To the Shanghai Subject Ranking 2019
To the U-Multirank 2019-2020

Read more about he importance of university rankings for Austrian universities following the link to the uniko ready reference manual.


Manuela BERNER
TU Graz | Statistics and Reporting
Rechbauerstraße 12
8010 Graz, Austria
Phone: +43 316 873 6004