Analysis Ranking Monitor

Times Higher Education Young Universities 2022

The Times Higher Education Young Universities counts universities that are 50 years old or younger, meaning that in the state of São Paulo the only public universities eligible for inclusion are Unesp (for another four years) and UFABC.

The Times Higher Education Young Universities counts universities that are 50 years old or younger, meaning that in the state of São Paulo the only public universities eligible for inclusion are Unesp (for another four years) and UFABC. The ranking uses the same methodology in the same weightings as the Times Higher Global Ranking, seeking to represent universities in citations by way of the field weighted citation impact (30%); Research by way of research funding received, research reputation in a survey, number of articles per member of staff (30%); Teaching by way of reputation, number of students per member of staff, number of doctoral candidates per undergraduate (30%); Internationalisation from proportion of international students, international staff and internationally co-authored articles (7.5%) and income derived from non-academic sources and the productive sector (2.5%). We have commented at length about the strengths and limitations of the methodology in past technical notes, particularly on the Global ranking, Latin America ranking and Emerging economies ranking.

New entrants to the top 300

Overall, there are 40 institutions in this year’s top 300 who were not in 2021’s top 300. However, just four of them have risen from a lower group. All the other institutions are new entries to the list, either because they did not submit data during the pandemic or did not before. This suggests that it is much easier to drop positions in the ranking due to new universities entering than it is to increase position. Of these new institutions, eight are Indian, five are Iranian, three are Saudi, and three are Pakistani, two are Vietnamese, two Egyptian and two are Chinese. This means that most of this growth is occurring in countries that are not traditionally well represented in rankings. Consequently, these institutions are often key national interests, which receive a significant part of the country’s higher education budget. This growing representation in Asia is reducing space for Unesp and UFABC.


  • The only indicator that seems to play a significant role in increasing position in this ranking is citations. Universities wishing to advance should do this through launching ambitious international research projects with the potential to produce highly cited research, which also increase the visibility of the institution and the international outlook.
  • Teaching appears not to play a significant role in performance, but if universities wished to improve their performance, they should look at tracking graduates who stay in academia, and the reach of online teaching resources.


YearPositionOverallCitationsIndustry IncomeInternational outlookResearchTeaching

Unesp has dropped down one group in 2022, from 201-250 to 251-300, while its positioning in 2018, following its drop to that group in 2019. In large part, this is due to the entry of institutions to the ranking, rather than many institutions improving at a faster rate than Unesp. The only indicator that has notably dropped over the past five years is the teaching indicator. Because core university budget is measured in this ranking, some improvement should be expected in next year’s edition. If Unesp wanted to further improve in this indicator, it should consider developing better indicators to track graduates who stay in academia, and indicators to map the reach of its digital teaching, or internationalisation at distance (IaD). This became very prominent for many institutions during the pandemic, allowing ambitious institutions to reach many more students with its teaching, both in country and abroad.


YearPositionOverallCitationsIndustry IncomeInternational outlookResearchTeaching

Like Unesp, UFABC dropped one group this year despite increasing its performance in all scores. The only indicator in which there has not been growth over five years is in teaching, where a large drop in performance in 2019 has yet to recover. This large drop is likely to be a change in the way data were counted in 2018, rather than a real fall in performance.

Which indicators should the universities target if they wish to improve their performance?

First, we looked at the top 300 institutions from 2021 and 2022 and calculated the score to identify which indicators showed more volatility. The table below shows that although industry income that has the greatest range of changes, it is citations that are by far the most variable, with much greater mean change (1.76) a higher standard deviation, and a much higher interquartile range, showing that more institutions changed their scores significantly than in other indicators. Teaching, on the other hand, showed the lowest variation of all the indicators, suggesting that on the whole, the way to improve performance in this ranking is through the citations indicator.

Overall descriptive data of changes in the top 300, 2021-2022

CitationsIndustry IncomeInternationalOutlookResearchTeaching
Standard Deviation8.475.912.353.762.43

To test this overall finding from the top 300, we then identified the 10 universities who had most increased their position from 2021 to 2022. The table below shows the number of places that the institution rose, followed by the difference in scores between 2021 and 2022.

Biggest risers

locationinstitution-titleposition diffcitations diffindustry diffinternational diffresearch diffteaching diff
Northern CyprusEastern Mediterranean University-12236.906.303.301.704.90
CyprusUniversity of Nicosia-9625.702.302.405.30-0.30
United Arab EmiratesUniversity of Sharjah-8828.400.90-0.104.300.00
IranAzarbaijan Shahid Madani University-8430.80-1.605.90-1.50-3.50
PakistanGovernment College University Faisalabad-7826.901.403.901.800.20
TaiwanAsia University, Taiwan-7523.600.009.900.302.50
SpainUniversitat Politécnica de Catalunya-6730.20-3.408.400.60-5.20
FranceUniversité Bourgogne Franche-Comté (UBFC)-4919.403.80-1.002.70-2.00
United Arab EmiratesZayed University-4723.102.10-0.103.500.50
United KingdomNottingham Trent University-4617.101.603.902.301.30

All the institutions showed an increase in citations of at least 17 points, and for most, the larger the advance in citations, the larger the advance in positions. Despite it only being worth 7.5% of the total, the internationalisation was the other dimension in which these universities increased significantly. The question of internationalisation is related to citations, as internationally co-authored papers tend to be more highly cited than domestically co-authored ones. Teaching had little or no effect on the performance of these rising institutions.

Finally, we looked at the four institutions who were ranked outside the top 300 in 2021, but inside the top 300 in 2022. These four institutions also were heavily dependent on rises in citations, with little change in the other indicators.

Institutions entering the top 300 in 2022

rank 2022locationinstitution-titlerank 2021rank diffCitations diffindustry diffinternational diffresearch diffteaching diff
201-250Saudi ArabiaUmm Al-Qura University301-350-10022.8-
251-300BrazilUniversity of Fortaleza (UNIFOR)301-350-5017.
251-300IraqUniversity of Technology, Iraq351-400-10022.41.8-
251-300EgyptZagazig University301-350-5018.41.41.510.7