THE Rankings 20th anniversary: UP returns to top 1000 global universities

Illustrational photo: Vojtěch Duda
Monday 2 October 2023, 12:00 – Text: Michaela Janků

Palacký University Olomouc has improved its position in the updated 2024 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, ranking 801st to 1000th, thus returning to the top 1000 universities in the world and being again ranked third in the Czech Republic. What is more, UP has improved its score in almost all indicators. Despite the partial improvements, the university needs to work on its reputation (academic and scientific) and multi-source funding (specifically from industry).

A total of 18 Czech universities have been ranked in 2024 THE World University Rankings, whereas only four of them are among the top 1000 universities in the world. Palacký University shares the third position with the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, with only Charles University in Prague and Masaryk University in Brno ahead of them.

This year’s jubilee edition of the 2024 THE World University Rankings has introduced a relatively significant update of its methodology (the last one was in 2011), increasing the number of evaluation indicators from the original 13 to the current 18. Domestic universities have coped very well with the change in methodology, with seven of them (including Olomouc’s university) improving their position.

Under the original methodology, all five key areas were retained, but three of them were renamed. The biggest changes have been made to Research Quality, where three new metrics (Research Strength, Research Excellence, and Research Influence) have been added to the original one (Citation Impact). For the first time, patents are also rated in the rankings, reflecting the extent to which a university’s research is cited in this segment. Another novelty this year is the Study Abroad metric, which however still carries zero weight (due to the pandemic situation in 2020–2021). The last major change is the normalisation of the three metrics in the International Outlook area, where the population of a given country is now taken into consideration.

The complete results of 2024 THE World University Rankings can be found here.


QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024

In late September, the results of the brand new QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024 were also published, in which Palacký University was ranked 219th out of 688 ranked universities. It was ranked 9th in Eastern Europe.

QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024 compares European universities from 42 member countries of the Council of Europe across 12 categories focusing on research quality, employment outcomes, study and teaching conditions, global engagement, and sustainability.

Palacký University performed best in the indicator Outbound Exchange Students, where it ranked 42nd overall and 3rd domestically. In the comparison of domestic universities, UP ranked even better in the categories International Faculty Ratio and Citations per Faculty, where it holds 2nd place among Czech universities. On the other hand, UP ranked 10th in the domestic comparison in the Faculty Student Ratio and in Inbound Exchange Students. These are areas that need to be worked on.

QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024 has listed the rankings of 688 institutions, 17 of which were from the Czech Republic. As this is the first year the rankings have been published, it is not possible to compare any rise or decline. However, it is already clear that Palacký University’s goal is to move up in the rankings and thus be among the top 3 Czech universities, as is the case with other rankings.

According to the rankings, the European number one is the University of Oxford, while for Eastern Europe it is the Czech Charles University. Five Czech universities altogether were among the top 10 universities in Eastern Europe, along with three Polish and two Hungarian universities.

The QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024 can be found here.

“The results in both the 2024 THE World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024 show not only the strengths but also the weaknesses of Palacký University, which need to be worked on so that UP improves in the future not only in terms of university rankings. This has been facilitated by UP’s strategy for international university rankings, which focuses on its areas for improvement in the rankings and is set accordingly as the current results have shown,” said Michal Malacka, UP Vice-Rector for Strategy and Regional Affairs.


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