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U-Ranking of Spanish Universities

Teaching, Research,
and Technological Development

2016 U-Ranking report The document U-Ranking (Synthetic Indicators University System Spanish) 2016 presents the fourth edition of results of universities in teaching, research and innovation and technological development, offering a classification of institutions for each area and for all university activities.

This report describes the methodology developed for creating the variables and indicators that serve as a basis for the different classifications and explores the two types of rankings constructed, of performance (U-Ranking) and volume of results (U-Ranking Volume), comparing them with each other, with the Shanghai ranking, as well as with the results from the 2015 edition of U-Ranking.

Continuing with the work started in 2015, the fourth edition has included in the ranking more private universities with sufficient and adequate information so that the data can be homogeneous with that of the public universities in order to construct synthetic indicators. The IV edition of U-Ranking now includes 13 private universities that meet these characteristics and 48 public universities. Therefore, this year’s edition analyses a total of 61 public and private universities, representing 95% of the Spanish university system.

The overall results of U-Ranking of Spanish Public Universities are presented in two different formats:

  • U-Ranking, which classifies universities according to their performance correcting for the effect of their size in order to make them comparable
  • U-Ranking Volume, which classifies universities according to their total volume of results

and taking into account the three main missions of Spanish universities:

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Innovation and Technological Development

The acronyms used for each university are the following:

COMILLAS U. Pontificia Comillas UGR U. de Granada UPCT U. Politécnica de Cartagena
UA U. de Alicante UHU U. de Huelva UPF U. Pompeu Fabra
UAB U. Autònoma de Barcelona UIB U. de les Illes Balears UPLG U. de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
UAH U. de Alcalá de Henares UIC U. Internacional de Catalunya UPM U. Politécnica de Madrid
UAL U. de Almería UJAEN U. de Jaén UPNA U. Pública de Navarra
UAM U. Autónoma de Madrid UJI U. Jaume I UPO U. Pablo de Olavide
UB U. de Barcelona UNILEON U. de León UPV U. Politècnica de València
UBU U. de Burgos ULL U. de La Laguna UPV-EHU U. del País Vasco
UC3M U. Carlos III UM U. de Murcia URJC U. Rey Juan Carlos
UCA U. de Cádiz UMA U. de Málaga URLL U. Ramon Llull
UCLM U. de Castilla-La Mancha UMH U. Miguel Hernández de Elche URV U. Rovira i Virgili
UCM U. Complutense UMON Mondragon Unibertsitatea US U. de Sevilla
UCO U. de Córdoba UN U. de Navarra USAL U. de Salamanca
UCV U. Católica de Valencia UNED UNED USC U. de Santiago de Compostela
UDC U. da Coruña UNEX U. de Extremadura USJ U. San Jorge
UDE U. de Deusto UNICAN U. de Cantabria UV U. de València
UDG U. de Girona UNIOVI U. de Oviedo UVA U. de Valladolid
UDIMA U. a Distancia de Madrid UNIRIOJA U. de La Rioja UVIC U. de Vic
UDL U. de Lleida UNIZAR U. de Zaragoza UVIGO U. de Vigo
UEM U. Europa de Madrid UOC U. Oberta de Catalunya
UEMC U. Europea Miguel de Cervantes UPC U. Politècnica de Catalunya

1. U-Ranking of Spanish Universities

U-Ranking classifies the performance of Spanish universities (teaching, research, and innovation and technological development), correcting for the effect of their size in order to comparable them.

Universities with the same performance index are placed under the same level, classifying them alphabetically in 11 levels:

RankingIndexUniversityRankingIndexUniversity
11.6Universitat Pompeu Fabra61.0Universidad del País Vasco
21.4Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona61.0Universidad Pablo de Olavide
21.4Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya61.0Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena
21.4Universitat Politècnica de València61.0Universidad Pública de Navarra
31.3Universidad Autónoma de Madrid61.0Universidade de Vigo
31.3Universidad Carlos III61.0Universitat de Girona
31.3Universidad de Navarra70.9Universidad de Cádiz
31.3Universitat de Barcelona70.9Universidad de Huelva
41.2Universidad de Cantabria70.9Universidad de Málaga
41.2Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche70.9Universidad de Oviedo
41.2Universidad Politécnica de Madrid70.9Universidad de Valladolid
41.2Universitat de les Illes Balears70.9Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes
41.2Universitat de València70.9Universidad Pontificia Comillas
41.2Universitat Ramon Llull70.9Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
41.2Universitat Rovira i Virgili70.9Universidade da Coruña
51.1Universidad de Alcalá de Henares80.8Universidad de Burgos
51.1Universidad de Alicante80.8Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
51.1Universidad de Córdoba80.8Universidad de Extremadura
51.1Universidad de Zaragoza80.8Universidad de Jaén
51.1Universidade de Santiago de Compostela80.8Universidad de La Laguna
51.1Universitat de Lleida80.8Universidad de La Rioja
51.1Universitat Internacional de Catalunya80.8Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
51.1Universitat Jaume I80.8Universidad de León
61.0Mondragon Unibertsitatea80.8Universidad Europea de Madrid
61.0Universidad Complutense90.7Universidad a Distancia de Madrid
61.0Universidad de Almería90.7Universidad Católica de Valencia
61.0Universidad de Deusto90.7Universitat de Vic
61.0Universidad de Granada90.7Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
61.0Universidad de Murcia100.6UNED
61.0Universidad de Salamanca110.5Universidad San Jorge
61.0Universidad de Sevilla

2. U-Ranking Volume of Spanish Universities

In contrast with the previous classification, U-Ranking Volume takes into account the total volume of results - teaching, research and innovation and technological development of the Spanish universities - and, therefore, the size of the university is a factor, along with the performance of each institution.

U-Ranking Volume classification is as follows:

RankingIndexUniversityRankingIndexUniversity
14.5Universidad Complutense220.9Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
24.0Universitat de Barcelona220.9Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche
33.3Universidad de Granada220.9Universidade da Coruña
33.3Universitat de València220.9Universitat de les Illes Balears
43.2Universitat Politècnica de València220.9Universitat Jaume I
53.1Universidad de Sevilla220.9Universitat Ramon Llull
63.0Universidad del País Vasco220.9Universitat Rovira i Virgili
63.0Universidad Politécnica de Madrid230.8Universidad de Navarra
72.9Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona230.8Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
82.7Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya240.7Universidad de Almería
92.5Universidad Autónoma de Madrid240.7Universidad de Jaén
102.3UNED240.7Universitat de Girona
112.2Universidad de Zaragoza250.6Universidad de Huelva
122.1Universidade de Santiago de Compostela250.6Universidad de León
131.9Universidad de Málaga250.6Universidad Pablo de Olavide
141.7Universidad de Salamanca250.6Universidad Pública de Navarra
151.6Universidad de Alicante250.6Universitat de Lleida
151.6Universidad de Murcia260.5Universidad de Deusto
161.5Universidad Carlos III260.5Universidad Europea de Madrid
161.5Universidad de Oviedo270.4Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena
171.4Universidad de Valladolid270.4Universidad Pontificia Comillas
181.3Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha280.3Universidad Católica de Valencia
191.2Universidad de Alcalá de Henares280.3Universidad de Burgos
191.2Universidad de Córdoba290.2Mondragon Unibertsitatea
201.1Universidad de La Laguna290.2Universidad de La Rioja
201.1Universidad Rey Juan Carlos290.2Universitat de Vic
201.1Universidade de Vigo290.2Universitat Internacional de Catalunya
201.1Universitat Pompeu Fabra300.1Universidad a Distancia de Madrid
211.0Universidad de Cádiz300.1Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes
211.0Universidad de Extremadura31< 0.1Universidad San Jorge
220.9Universidad de Cantabria

3. U-Ranking Volume vs. Shanghai Ranking

The following graph compares the results of our U-Ranking Volume with the results of the most cited international ranking, that of Shanghai, which is also based mainly on variables that are not corrected for by the effect of university size. Although there is some discrepancy, partly because the U-Ranking Volume considers the role of teaching, there is a great deal of similarity between both classifications. The universities listed in the Shanghai Ranking Top 500 are highlighted in the graph. The rest have been ordered through the Expanded Shanghai Ranking constructed by Docampo (2015).

4. U-Ranking vs. Shanghai Ranking

The similarity between the two rankings is less apparent than that observed in the previous graph, given that the Shanghai Ranking hardly takes into account the differences in size. However, both rankings coincide in the universities which are at the top of the Spanish system and which are situated mainly in the first tercile of both classifications.

5. U-Ranking (Performance and Volume) vs. Shanghai Ranking

The following diagram compares the results of the first terciles of U-Ranking, U-Ranking Volume and Shanghai Ranking. Although the intersections are frequent, there are some differences. The diagram identifies a group of ten universities which are at the top of the three rankings, as well as another eleven that appear at the top of at least two of the rankings.

6. U-Ranking vs. U-Ranking Volume

The comparison of our two main rankings once again shows a group that appears at the top of the rankings in the areas that have been examined. The shaded area of the graph contains a group of 15 universities which stand out in U-Ranking in both performance and volume of results. From this point of view, there is a group of universities that show the best practices in the university system. In turn, the universities listed in the Shanghai Ranking have been highlighted in red. The results are very clear, the universities in the shaded area which have the best results in volume and performance in U-Ranking are almost all present in the Shanghai Ranking.

7. The role of research

How does U-Ranking Performance change if we give more weight to the research dimension in universities? The following chart analyzes the evolution of universities when using three different weights for research, warning of the sensitivity of the results to these weights, especially in the case of private universities:

8. The role of research (II)

The following diagram illustrates the universities belonging to the first tercile for the different weights considered in the research dimension. As a whole, the results are fairly stable indicating that quality of research and teaching are correlated, at least at the universities that show a better performance.

9. U-Ranking for Teaching

The following classification focuses entirely on the teaching results of Spanish universities.

In this case, the results are the following:

RankingIndexUniversityRankingIndexUniversity
11.4Universidad de Navarra51.0Universidad de Zaragoza
11.4Universitat Pompeu Fabra51.0Universidad del País Vasco
21.3Universidad de Deusto51.0Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche
21.3Universitat Ramon Llull51.0Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
31.2Universidad Autónoma de Madrid51.0Universidad Pública de Navarra
31.2Universidad Carlos III51.0Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
31.2Universidad Europea de Madrid51.0Universidade de Vigo
31.2Universidad Pontificia Comillas51.0Universitat de Girona
31.2Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya51.0Universitat de les Illes Balears
31.2Universitat Politècnica de València51.0Universitat Internacional de Catalunya
41.1Mondragon Unibertsitatea60.9Universidad Católica de Valencia
41.1Universidad a Distancia de Madrid60.9Universidad de Cádiz
41.1Universidad Complutense60.9Universidad de Huelva
41.1Universidad de Alcalá de Henares60.9Universidad de Jaén
41.1Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes60.9Universidad de La Laguna
41.1Universidad Pablo de Olavide60.9Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
41.1Universidad San Jorge60.9Universidad de León
41.1Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona60.9Universidad de Oviedo
41.1Universitat de Barcelona60.9Universidad de Sevilla
41.1Universitat de Lleida60.9Universidad de Valladolid
41.1Universitat de València60.9Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena
41.1Universitat Jaume I60.9Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
41.1Universitat Rovira i Virgili70.8Universidad de Burgos
51.0Universidad de Alicante70.8Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
51.0Universidad de Almería70.8Universidad de Extremadura
51.0Universidad de Cantabria70.8Universidad de La Rioja
51.0Universidad de Córdoba70.8Universidade da Coruña
51.0Universidad de Granada70.8Universitat de Vic
51.0Universidad de Málaga80.7Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
51.0Universidad de Murcia90.6UNED
51.0Universidad de Salamanca

10. U-Ranking for Research

The classification below contains the results of the assessment of research activity.

In this case, the results are the following:

RankingIndexUniversityRankingIndexUniversity
11.9Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona81.0Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena
21.7Universitat Pompeu Fabra81.0Universidad Pública de Navarra
31.5Universidad Autónoma de Madrid81.0Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
31.5Universitat de Barcelona81.0Universitat Internacional de Catalunya
41.4Universidad de Cantabria81.0Universitat Ramon Llull
41.4Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya90.9Universidad Complutense
51.3Universidad Carlos III90.9Universidad de Burgos
51.3Universidad de Córdoba90.9Universidad de Cádiz
51.3Universitat de les Illes Balears90.9Universidad de Huelva
51.3Universitat de València90.9Universidad de Salamanca
51.3Universitat Politècnica de València90.9Universidad de Valladolid
51.3Universitat Rovira i Virgili90.9Universidade da Coruña
61.2Universidad de Oviedo100.8Mondragon Unibertsitatea
61.2Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche100.8Universidad de Extremadura
71.1Universidad de Granada100.8Universidad de Jaén
71.1Universidad de Navarra100.8Universidad de La Rioja
71.1Universidad Politécnica de Madrid100.8Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
71.1Universidade de Santiago de Compostela100.8Universidad de León
71.1Universidade de Vigo100.8Universidad de Málaga
71.1Universitat de Girona100.8Universidad Pablo de Olavide
71.1Universitat de Lleida110.6UNED
71.1Universitat Jaume I110.6Universidad de Deusto
81.0Universidad de Alcalá de Henares110.6Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes
81.0Universidad de Alicante110.6Universitat de Vic
81.0Universidad de Almería120.5Universidad Católica de Valencia
81.0Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha120.5Universidad Europea de Madrid
81.0Universidad de La Laguna120.5Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
81.0Universidad de Murcia130.4Universidad Pontificia Comillas
81.0Universidad de Sevilla140.3Universidad a Distancia de Madrid
81.0Universidad de Zaragoza150.2Universidad San Jorge
81.0Universidad del País Vasco

11. U-Ranking for Innovation and Technological Development

Finally, the classification for innovation and technological development is presented below.

In this case, the classification is clearly led by polytechnic universities which, by their nature, are more oriented towards the transfer of knowledge to the production system.

The results can be classified as follows:

RankingIndexUniversityRankingIndexUniversity
13.5Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya171.0Universidad Católica de Valencia
23.1Universitat Politècnica de València171.0Universidad de Murcia
32.8Universidad Politécnica de Madrid171.0Universidad de Valladolid
42.7Universitat Pompeu Fabra171.0Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes
52.5Universidad Carlos III171.0Universidad Pontificia Comillas
62.2Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche180.9Universidad a Distancia de Madrid
72.1Universidad de Alicante180.9Universidad de Huelva
82.0Universidad de Cantabria180.9Universidade da Coruña
91.8Universidad de Zaragoza180.9Universitat de València
91.8Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona190.8UNED
91.8Universitat Rovira i Virgili190.8Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
101.7Mondragon Unibertsitatea190.8Universidad de Granada
101.7Universidad de Sevilla190.8Universidad de Jaén
101.7Universitat Ramon Llull190.8Universidad del País Vasco
111.6Universidad Autónoma de Madrid190.8Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
111.6Universidad Pública de Navarra190.8Universidade de Vigo
111.6Universitat Oberta de Catalunya190.8Universitat de Lleida
121.5Universitat de les Illes Balears200.7Universidad Complutense
121.5Universitat Internacional de Catalunya200.7Universidad de Burgos
131.4Universidade de Santiago de Compostela200.7Universidad de La Rioja
141.3Universidad de Alcalá de Henares200.7Universidad de Oviedo
141.3Universidad de Deusto200.7Universitat de Vic
141.3Universidad de Málaga200.7Universitat Jaume I
141.3Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena210.6Universidad de Extremadura
151.2Universidad de Cádiz210.6Universitat de Girona
151.2Universidad de Córdoba220.5Universidad de León
151.2Universidad de Navarra230.4Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
151.2Universidad Pablo de Olavide230.4Universidad Europea de Madrid
151.2Universitat de Barcelona230.4Universidad San Jorge
161.1Universidad de Almería240.3Universidad de La Laguna
161.1Universidad de Salamanca

12. U-Ranking for Teaching vs. U-Ranking for Research

As we have seen previously, there is a positive relationship between performance in teaching and research among leading universities. However, this relationship is generally less defined. Therefore, considering the results of research as an approximation of teaching results may not be suitable, justifying the effort to use specific information on each area of university activity.

13. U-Ranking 2015 and 2016

The results obtained by public universities in 2016 are highly correlated with those presented in the third edition in 2015. The results confirm remarkable stability of U-Ranking and U-Ranking Volume with few exceptions.

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