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.
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
Tilburg University belongs according the three best known overall university rankings to the best 0.1% (Times HE, top 200) until 0.2% (ARWU/Sjanghai and QS both top 400) of 170,000 universities worldwide". All rankings organizations 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).