An international history of rankings

The European Beginnings:

  • 1863 Carl Kořistka: Der höhere polytechnische Unterricht in Deutschland, in der Schweiz, in Frankreich, Belgien und England“.
  • 1900 Alick Maclean’s publication, Where We Get Our Best Men


  • 1870S. Bureau of Education categorised the institutions into four classes.
  • 1903 Edwin G. Dexter categorised (but did not rank) the institutions based on excellent graduates.
  • 1904 Havelock Ellit’s publication, A Study of British Genius
  • 1906 (1910) James Cattel’s publication, The American Men of Science
  • 1911 Kendric Charles Babcock – upon the request of the American Association of Universities – categorised 344 higher education institutions into four classes based on how the students could obtain the bachelor level, and how they moved on. The President of the United State at that time forbade the distribution of the publication.
  • 1925 Raymond Hughes’ publication, A Study of Graduate Schools of America appeared.
  • 1930 Stephen Visher, the professor of Indiana University published his ranking the methodology of which was similar to that used by Cattel: Beverly Waugh Kunkel, associate of Lafayette College and Donald B. Prentice of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology published their ranking.
  • 1934 Hughes II: American Council on Education – more successful.
  • 1951 A methodological debate developed with the publication of Robert Knapp and Hubert Goodrich, “Origins of American Scientists” about the rankings which were based on the number of graduates with excellent results.
  • 1958 The publication of Paul Lazarsfeld and Wagner Thielens, Jr., “The Academic Mind” (Multidimensional)
  • 1956 Chesley Manley’s ranking appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
  • 1959 Keniston, the professor of the University of Pennsylvania published his analysis the purpose of which was the benchmarking of universities.
  • 1966 Allan Cartter published his ranking based on new methodological developments and including 106 universities: university rankings became widely accepted.
  • 1967 Jack Gourman (Gourman Report)
  • 1968 Playboy
  • 1969 The publication of George Pierson, “The Education of American Leaders”
  • 1972 National Academy of Sciences (reputation ranking)
  • 1971 Publication of the first Times Higher Education ranking in Great Britain.
  • 1982 An Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs was published presenting more than 200 universities and 2700 training programmes based on 16 indices.
  • 1983 US News and Report ranking, and the ranking of Business Week MBA listing MBA programmes appeared.
  • 1986 US News and Report USA Colleges Ranking

Global management training rankings:

  • 1998 Financial Times
  • 2000 Business Week
  • 2001 Wall Street Journal
  • 2002 The Economist, Forbes, International Herald Tribune

Global rankings:

  • 1999-2000 Time Asiaweek: Asia’s Best Universities
  • 1999-2001 University of Shanghai: higher education programme.
  • 2003 Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities
  • 2004 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) – QS: “World University Rankings”
  • 2005 Webometrics
  • 2006 The Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE)
  • 2007 Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities – Taiwan
  • 2007 Centre for Science and Technology Studies – Leiden
  • 2007 International Professional Classification of Higher Education Institutions – Mines, Paris
  • 2008 SCIMAGO World Report (Scopus)
  • 2010 THE World University Rankings (Thompson Reuters)
  • 2010 QS World University Rankings
  • 2010-2011 EU Multidimensional Ranking / Classification / Mapping
  • 2014 EU Multidimensional Ranking