Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Country-specific determinants of world university rankings
Volume: 114, Issue: 3
DOI 10.1007/s11192-017-2634-1




This paper examines country-specific factors that affect the three most influential world university rankings (the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the QS World University Ranking, and the Times Higher Education World University Ranking). We run a cross sectional regression that covers 42–71 countries (depending on the ranking and data availability). We show that the position of universities from a country in the ranking is determined by the following country-specific variables: economic potential of the country, research and development expenditure, long-term political stability (freedom from war, occupation, coups and major changes in the political system), and institutional variables, including government effectiveness.

Keywords determinants of world university rankings&author=&keyword=Ranking indicators,Universities,Political stability,Research policy,Educational system,&subject=General Social Sciences,Library and Information Sciences,Computer Science Applications,