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27 October 2023

Charles University once again highly ranked in international comparison

Prague, 27 October 2023 - The latest edition of the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2023, which belongs to the portfolio of the prestigious Shanghai Ranking, ranks Charles University among the world's leading institutions in terms of the quality of science in 20 fields, and in five cases among the top 200.

The published Global Ranking of Academic Subjects currently offers one of the most extensive international comparisons of the quality of university research in selected scientific fields. This year, it covers a total of 55 subjects in five broad subject groups, which are natural sciences, life sciences, medical sciences, social sciences and engineering.

The level of the field at a given university is assessed on the basis of the number of articles in the top quarter of journals in the field according to the impact factor, their citation response compared to the world average, the proportion of international publication, the number of articles in top journals in the field selected on the basis of a survey of outstanding scientists, and the number of staff members awarded one of the prestigious scientific prizes (e.g. Nobel Prize, Fields Medal, Wolf Prize). The composition and weighting of the individual criteria varies across disciplines.

This year, a total of five thousand universities from all over the world were assessed in this way, and those that met the minimum number of publications for the years 2018-2022 were evaluated. Across the disciplines, more than one thousand nine-hundred schools from over one hundred countries appear in the rankings.

Charles University is ranked among the best in twenty fields in total, with the best result in physics, where it is ranked 101st-150th in the world. Other top-ranked fields include ecology, clinical medicine and metallurgy. In economics, CU is ranked in the top one hundred-and-fifty to two hundred universities. The position of Charles University has improved year-on-year, especially in medical disciplines.

In the Czech Republic, Charles University is the best in 11 disciplines compared to other universities - physics, chemistry, earth sciences, biological sciences, human biology, clinical medicine, public health sciences, medical technology, pharmacy, economics and metallurgy.

“The interpretation of departmental rankings must be handled even more carefully than rankings for universities in general. In many cases, we are working with small numbers that can cause high volatility in rankings over time, or even inclusion or non-inclusion in the rankings for a given year. It is a good idea to look mainly at trends and comparisons with similar types of schools, or to examine the detail of the methodology and its implications, and how it is relevant to us or the Czech higher education system as a whole. It is also important to resist the temptation to compare the rankings of individual fields with each other, as each field has a different number of ranked schools, small numbers play different roles, and overall these can be and often are very heterogeneous groups. So the trite applies: rankings can be a good servant but a bad master, and in the case of the disciplinary ones this needs to be emphasised even more,” Professor Ladislav Krištoufek, CU’s vice-rector for research, said.

The excellent results of Charles University are evidenced, among other things, by Thursday's release of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024 by Subject. Although these rankings are different and the parameters of the ranking change, Charles University has so far maintained a stable position among prestigious universities from all over the world. The long-term underfunded segment of higher education affects the results and rankings. The set bar of success can only be maintained or even improved in an environment that is adequately financially supported long-term.

Complete results: Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2023

Press Release by CU's Communications Department (OVV)

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