President Joël Mesot commenting on the latest results said, “Our mission is to serve society. On this basis, it is the daily commitment of our people to education, research, and knowledge sharing that makes ETH Zurich one of the best universities in the world.”
Two areas where ETH Zurich’s scores fall short, compared to other top-ranked institutions, are in its student/faculty ratio and industry income. This is due, in part, to its culturally valued, open access admissions policy and the fact that ETH Zurich is one of the few publicly funded institutions among the world’s top-ranked universities. The changes, however, in THE’s methodology have also contributed to some changes in the scores across the metrics.
Finding meaning in the data
Times Higher Education (THE) indicates that it has “significantly updated” its methodology for the 2024 World University Rankings. In addition to “teaching” and “international outlook,” THE has reconfigured and renamed three of its metrics that evaluate “research quality,” the “research environment,” and knowledge transfer to “industry.” The 2024 ranking aims to focus less on the numbers and more on quality. For example, the number of citations formerly accounted for 30 percent of the research metric, but in the new methodology category: “research quality,” citations are balanced by placing a stronger emphasis on research strength, excellence, and influence. The industry pillar has also changed. It now includes a new metric that measures university research citations mentioned in patents.