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UiB up in rankings

The University of Bergen rises in Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings.

Logo of international university rankings magazine, Times Higher Education.
UPWARDS LEAP: UiB leaps upwards in the Times Higher Education rankings for 2013.

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The University of Bergen (UiB) has claimed the no. 208 spot in this year’s ranking of the best universities in the world. This is a leap of twenty places from last year’s rankings, when UiB was no. 228.

“This is wonderful news,” says UiB’s Rector Dag Rune Olsen.

The ranking is published by British magazine Times Higher Education (THE), who employ 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators, which are then grouped into five areas:

  • Teaching: the learning environment (worth 30 per cent of overall ranking score)
  • Research: volume, income and reputation (30 per cent)
  • Citations: research influence (30 per cent)
  • Industry income: innovation (2.5 per cent)
  • International outlook: staff, students and research (7.5 per cent)

For full rankings, visit the THE home page.

Research makes an impact

UiB shows progress in all categories except for international composition and commercial income. In last year’s ranking UiB was the most cited university in Norway and scores slightly higher in this category this year.

“The fact that our researchers are cited frequently is a good measure of the impact of our research,” says Rector Olsen.

As well as a high number of citations, Olsen is pleased that UiB has made advances in research and the quantity of publications with a score of 28.2 compared to last year’s 26.8.

“This shows that we have provided more research and also attracted more external financing,” he points out.

The score for learning environment is also up – from 28.3 last year to 30.8 now.

Nordic countries rise

Compared to other Norwegian universities, UiB is number two behind the University of Oslo in 185th place. There is however an overall trend showing a rise for universities in the Nordic countries.

“In the Nordic countries there is a broad political consensus that investing in higher education and research is the key to achieving long-term growth. State funding provides a stable source of income for our universities and enables us to plan ahead without worrying too much about future finances,” says Olsen before elaborating.

“At the University of Bergen we take a similar long-term view as our politicians. For years we have put research at the heart of the education process at our university. This way we secure a dynamic research environment as well as recruiting new, exciting talent, not only from Norway but from the whole world.”

No strategy changes

THE is one of several international university rankings and in November UiB hosts a conference debating the issues surrounding such rankings.

“Reputation is not easy to measure and we need to put ratings such as this into a broader context. But I believe that the level of citations is telling when it comes to the quality of our research,” says Rector Dag Rune Olsen before urging a note of caution.

“However, our strategy does not change to comply with these rankings. If we continue to develop quality in research and education that will makes us do well in these rankings also in the future.”