The University of São Paulo (USP) continued to be the best higher education institution in Latin America, but seven Brazilian universities dropped from their position in the ranking of the British magazine Times Higher Education (THE), a world reference in the analysis of university education. The 2022 edition of the survey was released on Wednesday, the 1st, with 59 Brazilian representatives. For the sixth consecutive year, the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom, occupied the first place on the list.
The California Institute of Technology and Harvard University, both from the United States, were tied for second place. Stanford University and Cambridge University, respectively from the US and the UK, complete the top 5.
The evaluation considers 13 indicators that measure the performance of institutions in research, teaching quality, volume of citations in scientific articles, international projection, among others. For this edition, data including 108 million citations in more than 14 million scientific publications worldwide were analyzed. A survey was also carried out with 22,000 academic representatives.
Budget difficulties, low internationalization and bureaucratic barriers are pointed out by specialists as obstacles for Brazil to achieve better placements in these rankings. Jair Bolsonaro’s administration has been criticized for cuts in funding for universities and research. Sought to comment on the ranking results, the Ministry of Education (MEC) had not yet made a statement until the publication of this article.
See below the falls of Brazilian universities in the ranking:
– Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) – dropped from the 601-800 range, last year, to 801-1.000;
– Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) – dropped from the 601-800 range, last year, to 801-1.000;
– Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) – dropped from the 601-800 range, last year, to 801-1.000;
– Universidade de Brasília (UnB) – dropped from the range 801-1000, last year, to 1.001-1,200;
– Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp) – dropped from the range 801-1.000, last year, to 1.001-1.200;
– Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel) – dropped from the range 801-1.000, last year, to 1.001-1.200;
– Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) – dropped from the range 801-1.000, last year, to 1.001-1.200.
With the covid-19 pandemic underway, the rankings in the ranking reflected the role of universities in understanding and managing the health crisis. Institutions that developed pandemic surveys had a significant increase in their scores. AstraZeneca’s covid vaccine, one of the most used worldwide, including in Brazil, came out of the University of Oxford, first on the list.
Other health-focused universities have moved up from last year thanks to research on covid. Among them, representatives from China, where the pandemic originated, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia. Generally speaking, never before have so many countries entered the ranking. In all, there were 1,662 universities from 99 countries and regions, 136 more than last year.
According to Phil Baty, editor of the magazine, it will be “interesting to see how the US, UK and other leading education systems can respond to covid-19’s challenges, including attracting international academic talent and the potential profound impacts on funding to maintain their positions.”
In Brazil, higher education institutions had to restrict the use of their physical structure, including laboratories and libraries, to respect quarantine rules, one of the strategies to stop the advance of the coronavirus. Most higher education institutions have not yet fully resumed face-to-face activities.
The highlight this year was China, which has been rising rapidly in place in the latest editions of the survey. The Asian country has achieved its best position to date, with two universities tied for 16th place and ten entries in the top 200. Japan, South Korea, Russia, Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong also had their best results in history.
Latin America, on the other hand, broke a record of representation in the ranking, with 125 universities. Brazil was the country with the highest number of newcomers in the region, with nine institutions included in the list for the first time, all below the 1,201th position.
Check out the nine Brazilian universities with the best ranking in the ranking below:
– University of São Paulo (USP) – position: 201-250;
– University of Campinas (Unicamp) – position: 401-500;
– Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) – position: 601-800;
– Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) – position: 601-800;
– Federal University of Sergipe (UFS) – position: 601-800;
– Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) – position: 801-1.000;
– Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) – position: 801-1.000;
– Universidade de Fortaleza (Unifor) – position: 801-1.000, increased compared to last year;
– Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS) – position: 801-1.000.