Understanding Society

Tilburg University is convinced that it can contribute to solving social issues by developing and transferring knowledge and bringing together people from various disciplines and organizations.


What the rankings tell us

International rankings compare universities on such subjects as research, teaching, students, international outlook, and reputation in teaching and research. A university scores points for every subject. The scores are weighed and added up. The university with the highest score tops the list. Overall rankings show scores about a university as a whole.

Subject rankings

There are also subject rankings, whereby universities are ranked on the basis of a particular discipline, for example, psychology. The following subject rankings are relevant for Tilburg University:

Collaboration and national rankings

In addition, there is a collaboration ranking that assess a university’s performance in the area of collaboration, for instance, between the university and organizations in the region. The central question is to what extent a university connects with society at a scientific level. There are also national rankings, such as the Keuzegids Hoger Onderwijs and the Keuzegids Masters. They mainly compare the degree programs. The Elsevier ranking assesses the positions of the Dutch research universities and universities of applied sciences in both teaching and research.

Tilburg University’s characteristics

Tilburg University is a relatively small university specializing in the Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities. In the overall rankings, the large non-technical universities with a broad spectrum of disciplines score better than the smaller universities. One reason for this is the methods used to determine researchers’ citation scores. The subject rankings in Economics & Business, Social Sciences, and Arts & Cognitive Sciences better reflect Tilburg University’s position.

Nice to know

According to the three most renowned university overall rankings (THE, ARWU, and QS), Tilburg University belongs to the best 2% in the world. This means that we are among the first 340 of more than 17,000 universities worldwide. All rankings do their calculations in different ways, so the results come out differently as well. One ranking emphasizes scientific research published in English, another assesses student satisfaction on the teaching and the university’s reputation. Read more about the comments on and context of the rankings on the site of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, VSNU (in Dutch).

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