Rankings? Means-based performance

UCLouvain is ranked 188th in the world by the 2021-22 QS World University Rankings, and it is the top-ranked French-speaking Belgian university. The ranking demonstrates that UCLouvain is recognised internationally for the excellence of its research and its reputation, and places it in the top 14%. “It’s quite a performance considering the resources allocated to Belgian universities,” says UCLouvain Research Director Jean-Christophe Renauld.

UCLouvain is ranked 188th in the 2021-22 QS World University Rankings, and remains the leading French-speaking Belgian university. The ranking shows once again that Belgian universities are exceptional, given the resources allocated to education and research, in comparison with universities in other countries.

UCLouvain stands out for the excellence of its research: this is where the university achieves its greatest progress and exceeds the world average. This is recognition of the work and, above all, the discoveries of UCLouvain researchers. Other indicators that propel UCLouvain higher in the rankings are its international reputation and reliability.

What criteria do the QS rankings use for the 1,300 analysed institutions?

  • Academic reputation (worth 40%)
    Measured via an international survey, to identify the most reliable and trustworthy institutions.
  • Reputation in the job market (10%)
    Identifies the universities that produce the best graduates, thereby telling students how universities are regarded in the labour market.
  • Ratio of students per faculty (20%)
    Number of employed professors in relation to the number of enrolled students.
    > This is where Belgian universities lose points, because the objective in Belgium is to make higher education accessible to all.
  • Number of scientific citations (20%)
    Assesses the impact of research within universities.
  • International attractiveness (10%)
    Success of universities in attracting international students and faculty.

UCLouvain is ranked in the top 14% of universities ranked by QS. This is an achievement when you consider that the top universities inject colossal resources into teaching a limited number of students, who are selected at the outset, and thus allow more time for professors to devote to research. “With the same resources and conditions,” Renauld observes, “Belgian universities could reach the top 50. If we compare them to the world of athletes, Belgian universities benefit from the resources of provincial clubs and still manage to generate top-level talent and research results.” It should also be noted that the strategy of these universities is not the same. “Many countries practice elitist education, whereas Belgian universities aim to provide access to education for the greatest number.”

Published on June 14, 2021