Andalusia places seven of its universities among the most outstanding institutions in the Shanghai rankings

The UCA joins, for the first time, this prestigious list in which the UJA and the UMA have also climbed positions.

The Andalusian university system improves, for the second consecutive year, its overall position in the prestigious ranking of Shanghai (‘Academic Ranking of World Universities – ARWU’). If in 2019 it placed six of its eleven universities (10 public and one private) among the best in the world with the incorporation, in that edition, of the Pablo de Olavide University (UPO), in this latest update, corresponding to 2020, the region manages to add one more: the University of Cadiz (UCA).

The UCA is the most recent addition to this renowned list, considered one of the most reliable and transparent in the world in terms of methodology and results, which was created in 2003 to help Chinese students and researchers to choose a destination abroad.

Of the 1,000 institutions listed by ARWU, seven are Andalusian: the University of Granada (UGR), the University of Seville (US), the University of Cordoba (UCO), the University of Jaen (UJA), the University of Malaga (UMA), the UPO and the UCA. However, only the UGR and the US are included in the Top 500, in the 201-300 and 401-500 ranges, respectively. This is reflected in a report prepared last April by the Ministry of Economic Transformation, Industry, Knowledge and Universities, through the Andalusian Knowledge Agency (AAC), which analyzes the position of the universities of the community in various international rankings.

Spain is the eighth country in the world with the most institutions included in the Shanghai ranking, with a total of 40. The University of Granada continues to be the best positioned of all Andalusian institutions and, nationally, occupies second place (between positions 2 and 5), sharing the rankings with the Complutense University of Madrid, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of Valencia. The first national position is for the University of Barcelona.

As a novelty, in this last edition the UJA and the UMA have climbed positions in the global ranking, both going from the interval 801-900 to 701-800. The UGR (201-300), the UPO (801-900) and the US (401-500) have maintained their previous positions, while the UCO has dropped from 601-700 to 701-800.

ARWU by scientific areas

Since 2009, the Shanghai ranking has also included a classification by scientific areas or specialties (ARWU-FIELD), in which the institutions are classified into 54 subjects encompassed within five major fields: natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences and social sciences.

In this type of analysis, in the 2020 edition the University of Granada continues to stand out, as on previous occasions, maintaining its presence in 35 scientific disciplines. Specifically, the UGR continues to have five specialties in the world scientific elite: documentation (from 36th to 32nd place); food science and technology (from 37th to 36th place); mathematics (rank 76-100th); mining and mineral engineering (76-100th); and tourism (76-100th).

The US also stands out, with a presence in 24 disciplines and four specialties in the top 100: food science and technology (50th); instrumental and technological sciences (rank 51-75); electronic and electrical engineering (76-100); and automation (76-100).

Also included in that top 100 are UCO’s veterinary sciences (51-75); and UMA’s tourism studies (76-100). It should be noted that the UCA has entered the ARWU with a presence in four disciplines: mathematics (rank 401-500); engineering and environmental sciences (401-500); chemical engineering (301-400) and oceanography (101-150), the latter entering very close to the top 100.

This second ranking, the ARWU-FIELD, highlights the strengths of one more Andalusian university: the University of Almeria, which is highlighted for its teaching in agricultural sciences (401-500).

Other rankings

The report prepared by the Andalusian Knowledge Agency also includes an analysis of the Andalusian university system in other international rankings, including ‘The World University Ranking 2021’, which includes more than 1,500 international institutions from 93 countries. Eight Andalusian universities (Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Jaen, Malaga, Pablo de Olavide and Seville) are included in this ranking. Once again, the UGR is the best rated among the Andalusian universities, ranking among the 601-800 best institutions. The universities of Cordoba, Jaen, Pablo de Olavide and Seville are placed in the 801-1,000 best, while the UAL, the UCA and the UMA are in the 1,001 range and above.

In the ‘QS World University Rankings 2021’, which takes into account 1,186 universities in 94 countries, 27 Spanish universities are included. Of these, the only Andalusian universities that stand out are the UGR, which improves its position and moves from the 511-520 range to be among the 501-510 best; and the US, which also rises in rank and moves from 601-650 to 581-590.

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