U-Ranking report

The U-Ranking (Synthetic Indicators of Spanish Universities) 2024 report presents the results of the twelfth edition of the project, based on the analysis of universities’ activities in teaching and research and innovation, offering a classification of the Spanish universities for each dimension and for the total of university activities.

What does this report contain?

This document describes the methodology developed for constructing the variables and indicators that serve as the basis for the different classifications. It analyzes in detail the two types of rankings constructed: performance (U-Ranking) and volume of results (U-Ranking Volume), comparing them with each other and with the Shanghai Ranking. The report shows the teaching and research and innovation results of the universities and the sensitivity of the ranking to changes in the importance given to these activities. The results obtained in the 2024 edition are contrasted with those of 2023, analyzing the differences in the performance of the different regional university systems.
Additionally, this year, another specific report on the labor market insertion of young university graduates has been published. The study analyzes the evolution of the labor market in which young people are inserted, delves into recent changes in the labor market insertion of the last six cohorts of university graduates, and examines their characteristics and differences by fields of study four years after graduation.

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U-Ranking Analysis

The U-Ranking (Synthetic Indicators of the Spanish University System) 2022 report presents the tenth edition of the results of the universities in their teaching and research and innovation activities. Download the complete report or a summary of the main conclusions.

The tenth edition of U-Ranking includes 48 public and 24 private universities that have provided sufficient information of adequate quality, so that the data is homogeneous with that of public universities in order to construct synthetic indicators. Therefore, this year’s edition analyses a total of 72 universities, representing 98% of the Spanish university system in terms of undergraduate students.

The results of the U-Ranking of Spanish Universities are presented under two different approaches:

U-Ranking

Ranks the universities according to their performance, eliminating the size factor

U-Ranking Volume

Ranks the universities according to their total volume of results

The acronyms used for each university are the following:

Global rankings

U-Ranking

U-Ranking classifies Spanish universities according to their performance (in teaching and research and innovation), eliminating the size factor to compare universities.

Universities are grouped into 12 levels according to the performance index value rounded to one decimal place. Within each group with similar performance the universities are ordered according to the full index value but note that these second-order differences need not be relevant.

  • Ranking
    Index
    University
  • 1
    1.5
    Universitat Politècnica de València
  • 1
    1.5
    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • 2
    1.4
    Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
  • 2
    1.4
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • 2
    1.4
    Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
SHOW FULL LIST
Universities without score were not analyzed due to lack of information
(*) Universities younger than 15

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 figure contains a group of 15 universities which stand out in U-Ranking, both for their high performance and great 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 a dark blue color. The results are very clear, almost all the universities in the shaded area which have the best results in volume and performance in U-Ranking also appear in the Shanghai Ranking.

U-Ranking Volume vs Shanghai Ranking

The figure compares the results of U-Ranking Volume with the results of Shanghai Ranking, the most cited international ranking, which is also based mainly on variables that are not corrected for size. For this analysis, we rank 39 Spanish universities listed in the top 1,000 of the 2021 Shanghai Ranking by the five standardized indicators published by ARWU, allowing for a better comparison. Although there is some discrepancy, partly because U-Ranking Volume considers the role of teaching, there is a great deal of similarities between both classifications. The universities listed in the Shanghai Ranking Top 500 are highlighted in the figure.

Nota: Los resultados del Ranking de Shanghái 2023 corresponden a una adaptación para 38 universidades españolas que aparecen en el ranking a partir de su puntuación en los 5 indicadores que utiliza el ranking y su posición relativa respecto a la universidad con la mayor puntuación.

U-Ranking vs Shanghai Ranking

The similarities between U-Ranking and Shanghai Ranking are not as obvious as those observed with U-Ranking Volume, since 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 located mainly in the first tercile of both classifications.

Nota: Los resultados del Ranking de Shanghái 2023 corresponden a una adaptación para 38 universidades españolas que aparecen en el ranking a partir de su puntuación en los 5 indicadores que utiliza el ranking y su posición relativa respecto a la universidad con la mayor puntuación.

U-Ranking (Performance and Volume) vs Shanghai Ranking

The following figure compares the results of the first quartiles of U-Ranking, U-Ranking Volume and Shanghai Ranking. Of the 70 universities analyzed, 28 appear in the top positions of at least one of the three rankings. Intersections are frequent, but differences exist. The diagram identifies a group of six universities that are in the leading group of all three rankings. Another seven universities are in the first quartile in two of the rankings, and finally, fifteen other universities are highlighted by only one of the three criteria considered.

Teaching and Research
and Innovation rankings

U-Ranking for teaching

The following classification focuses on the performance in teaching activities of Spanish universities.

  • Ranking
    Index
    University
  • 1
    1.3
    Universitat Politècnica de València
  • 1
    1.3
    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • 1
    1.3
    Universitat Ramon Llull
  • 1
    1.3
    Universidad de Navarra
  • 1
    1.3
    Universidad Europea de Madrid
  • 2
    1.2
    Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
  • 2
    1.2
    Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (*)
  • 2
    1.2
    Universidad Europea de Valencia (*)
  • 2
    1.2
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • 2
    1.2
    Universidad Pontificia Comillas
  • 2
    1.2
    Mondragon Unibertsitatea
  • 2
    1.2
    Universidad San Pablo - CEU
  • 2
    1.2
    Universitat de València
SHOW FULL LIST
(*) Universities younger than 15

U-Ranking for teaching vs
U-Ranking for research and innovation

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

U-Ranking by AA. CC.

The performance of
regional university systems

The figure shows the averages of the U-Ranking 2024 index for all on-site universities, both public and private, in each region. There are large differences in performance among regional university systems, reaching up to 35.9 percentage points between the one with the highest performance and the one with the lowest.

2023 and 2024 comparison

The results obtained by universities in 2024 are highly correlated with those presented in the previous edition. The results confirm the remarkable stability of U-Ranking and U-Ranking Volume with few exceptions.

U-Ranking

U-Ranking Volume

Postgraduate Ranking

U-Ranking 2022 offers a specific analysis of postgraduate studies - master and doctorate - in the universities of the Spanish University System.The report shows the evolution of these studies in the last decade and their different structure depending on the ownership of the university and area of study.

The analysis is completed with the elaboration of a synthetic index based on 12 indicators that evaluate the performance of universities in the areas of the training process, quality, internationalization and employability of their postgraduate programs. This index allows Spanish universities to be ordered according to performance of their postgraduate studies, offering six postgraduate rankings: one for each area of study and another global that groups the information of all of them.


You can consult the complete analysis in the 2022 U-Ranking report


Global

  • Ranking
    Index
    University
  • 1
    1.5
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • 2
    1.4
    Universidad de Navarra
  • 2
    1.4
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • 2
    1.4
    Universitat Ramon Llull
  • 3
    1.3
    Universitat Rovira i Virgili
  • 3
    1.3
    Universidad Carlos III
  • 3
    1.3
    Universidad de Salamanca
  • 3
    1.3
    Universitat de Barcelona
  • 3
    1.3
    Universidad Pontificia Comillas
  • 3
    1.3
    Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
SHOW FULL LIST
(*) Universities younger than 15

Changes in the bachelor’s degree programs offered

Bachelor’s degrees created and eliminated in the last decade

The ninth edition of U-Ranking included a specific analysis of the changes in the offer of bachelor’s degree programs between the academic years 2010-2011 and 2020-2021, which considers their intensity in the different fields of knowledge, type of teaching/learning mode, differences between public and private centres, and how well the new offering meets the demands of students and the labor market.

From academic year 2010-2011 to 2020-2021, 1,760 bachelor’s degrees have been added and 629 have been discontinued, so the net increase during the period was 1,131 degrees, 44% more than in 2010. Most of the new degrees already existed in the SUE, but there are 190, between bachelor’s degrees and double degrees, which are new. Check the complete analysis in the U-Ranking 2021 report.

The launch of new degrees is strongly taking place in both public and private universities. However, although the total volume of new bachelor’s degrees is higher in public ones, with 716 new degrees in a decade compared to 415 in private universities, these ones have experienced a higher relative growth due, to a large extent, to the fact that many private universities have been recently created and are still in the process of structuring their degree offers.

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