ITU Retains Its Place in World University Rankings
Sep 26, 2016

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017 have been announced. ITU has ranked among top 501-600 universities in the rankings, which are the global performance tables that judge research-intensive universities across their core missions. Also, ITU has been one of the eighteen Turkish universities listed in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017 and came 6th among the eighteen Turkish universities. With this ranking, ITU retained its place in the previous year’s list. In the newly published rankings, which assessed 980 universities, methodological performance indicators were grouped into five areas, and the proportion of each area was determined based on different specific criteria. Five performance areas were teaching, research, citations, knowledge transfer, and international outlook.

ITU Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca: “Comparisons should be carried out using appropriate criteria”

Commenting on ITU’s place in the rankings, ITU rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca states that rankings should be interpreted from different perspectives. After indicating that ITU retained its place this year, Prof. Karaca says that disciplinary focus of universities should be taken into account while ranking them. “Certain areas in social sciences, medicine, and law get more citations compared to other disciplines. For this reason, universities focusing on technical disciplines, engineering in particular, should be subjected to different evaluation criteria than those including social sciences and medical departments,” says Prof. Karaca.

Along with ITU being a technical university, Karaca states that the recent increase in the enrollment quota has prevented ITU from rising in the list despite improvements in most other criteria. Karaca explains that the sharp increase in the number of students enrolling in Technical University is not balanced by a proportionate increase in the population of academic staff, which translates into a disadvantage in terms of rankings. “Our student number has increased from 33951 in 2015 to 36990 in 2016. However, the number of academic staff at our institution has decreased from 2249 to 2180. This is not a natural condition. For the very same reason, the increase in the number of international students and academics at our institution does not translate into a higher rank. In brief, I believe that balancing the student-professor ratio and setting student quota in accordance with this ratio will have an effect on rankings,” says Karaca.