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LMU Munich is once again among the top-ranked EU universities in the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2019, with a ranking of 32. The Technical University Munich is Germany’s second-best performer, at rank 44. The Eindhoven University of Technology – TUM’s partner-university in Eurotech – lost some of the strong gains made in last year’s survey, moving down to a world ranking of 167.

The top-ten overall rankings are held by UK and US institutions, with Oxford University in first place for the third year running. Strong gains by Asian universities has been a notable theme in recent surveys, with China in particular making great strides this year to reach its best ranking to date: Tsinghua University moved up eight places to rank 22, overtaking the previous Asian leader, National University of Singapore.

The THE World University Rankings continually expands its scope, and this year surveyed 1250 universities in 86 countries. Its current methodology, adopted in 2011, considers thirteen performance indicators grouped into five metrics. These metrics are: Teaching (the learning environment), research (volume, income, reputation), citations, international outlook and industry income. The latter is viewed as a proxy for knowledge transfer and thus of the usefulness of the university. The survey methodology is described here.

Strong European placement

LMU Munich improved its ranking by two places this year, thanks to enhanced results in the areas of teaching and research. Despite a slightly better overall score than last year, and improvements in the areas of research and international outlook, the Technical University Munich gave up three places.

The Technical University Munich points out in a brief statement that the tables show it is by far the best-ranked technical university in Germany, and that its European placement is strong: it is ranked fourth after Imperial College London (rank 9), ETH Zurich (11) and EPF Lausanne (35).

Germany and the Netherlands are amongst only ten countries with more than ten universities included in the top 200

The Eindhoven University of Technology dropped 26 places this year, wiping out much of the 36-notch improvement made last year. The decline is owing to a softer performance in the categories of citation and reputation. After achieving a full score and a joint first place last year in the “industry income” section, Eindhoven eased back here, too. In a statement, Eindhoven University of Technology asserts that its performance remains strong.

“On the indicator of cooperation with industry, Eindhoven University of Technology has been placed amongst the top universities worldwide for years. This year the university scores 99,6 out of 100 points – a 17th position,” it says. Last year, Eindhoven scored 100/100, resulting in a top position.

“The high score is reflected, among other things, in the relatively high number of part-time professors with ties to industry. Furthermore, Eindhoven scores very high on the number of published papers per member of the academic staff and on the percentage of international students and employees.”

Topping the Dutch university league table is Delft University of Technology (rank 58), which moved up five positions and overtook Wageningen University and the University of Amsterdam.

Germany and the Netherlands are amongst only ten countries with more than ten universities included in the top 200; Germany has 23, up from 11 a year ago, and the Netherlands has 12, down from 13 last year.

Picture: Times Higher Education