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Turkish universities in ‘World’s Top 500’ list

Reports by university ranking institutions indicate METU, Hacettepe, and Koc universities currently most successful

The Middle East Technical University (METU), Hacettepe and Koc universities have become Turkey’s most successful universities, according to ranking institutions.

The universities were included in three of the “World’s Top 500 Universities” rankings made by 11 ranking institutions, said a report by the University Ranking by Academic Performance Research Laboratory (URAP) of METU.

METU URAP published the results of the rankings for 203 universities in Turkey.

The universities were evaluated by 11 ranking institutions, including METU URAP, Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), Centre for Science and Technology Studies Leiden (LEIDEN), National Taiwan University (NTU), Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings (QS), Round University Ranking (RUR), Scimago Institutions Rankings (SCIMAGO), Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE), US News & World Report (US News), and Ranking of World Universities (WEBOMETRICS).

In the report, the world rankings of 11 research universities and five research university candidates for the period of 2013-2020 were assessed for the first time.

Top 3 frequently listed universities announced

Nine Turkish universities were among the “World’s Top 500 Universities” in 2020, the report showed.

METU, Hacettepe, and Koc universities were the top three of the nine universities.

Hacettepe University was listed the 378th by RUR, 455th on LEIDEN, and 500th on URAP, while METU ranked 416th on WEBOMETRICS, 454th on RUR, and 453rd on US News. Koc University took the 450th spot on THE, 448th on RUR, and 465th on QS.

Universities among top 500 on 2 lists

Here are four Turkish universities included in two of the 11 rankings:

“Istanbul Technical University (ITU) (RUR: 449 and USNEWS: 486), Bogazici University (US NEWS: 197 and RUR: 425), Bilkent University (RUR: 385 and SCIMAGO: 494), and Istanbul University (LEIDEN: 355 and ARWU: 450).”

Two universities that made it to one of the top 500 rankings were Sabanci (RUR: 344), and Cankaya (THE: 450) universities.

“It is a considerable success for our country as these nine universities made it to the top 500 on at least one ranking list in 2020,” said the report.

10-year performance analysis of Turkish universities in top 500

While 10 Turkish universities were in the top 500 worldwide in 2011, last year the number dropped to eight. This year, it has climbed back to nine.

Istanbul University made it to the top 500 on four lists in 2011, two lists in 2020 while losing its spot in URAP and SciMago’s top 500.

Included on four top 500 lists in 2011, METU was placed on three top 500 lists in 2020. It could not have a place in the top 500 by LEIDEN and SciMago.

Hacettepe University, which was in three top 500 lists in 2011, once again took place in three top 500 rankings. It lost its SciMago ranking in the process.

While Bilkent University had a place in two of the rankings 10 years ago, it has entered the top 500 in two lists again. It could not attain a place in THE and QS rankings.

ITU has shown the success of entering the top 500 of one list 10 years after it found a place on one list in 2011, while losing its place on THE rankings.

Bogazici University ranked in the top 500 on one list in 2011 and on two lists in 2020. Becoming the 197th university in US News, it attained its record, yet lost its place in the top 500 on the THE list.

Sabanci University was placed on one list in both 2011 and 2020, but lost its place in the QS rankings.

Reports of 203 universities in world rankings

The report also specified 203 Turkish universities which managed to enter the top 500 in the world general rankings.

Five universities listed by all 11 rankings institutions over the years were METU, ITU, Hacettepe, Istanbul, and Ankara universities.

Ege, Gazi, Bilkent, and Bogazici universities were included in 10 of the world rankings.

Dokuz Eylul, Koc, and Erciyes universities managed to be included in nine lists, while Ataturk, Marmara, Yildiz Teknik, Cukurova, Sabanci in eight lists, and Selcuk, Akdeniz, Eskisehir Osmangazi, Gebze Teknik, Anadolu universities, and Izmir High Technology Institute in seven lists.

Ten universities from Turkey were listed in the six of the world rankings.

Special title used for research universities and research university candidates

URAP examined the places of research universities and research university candidates among world rankings in detail for the first time in Turkey this year.

The report said determining these universities in Turkey was a significant development. It underlined that academic competition would increase success, thus raise the chances of earning a place among the best universities of the world in time.

Five of the 16 research universities or research university candidates in Turkey took place in the top 500 list in 2020.

Among these universities, Hacettepe and METU ranked in the top 500 on three lists.

ITU, Bogazici, and Istanbul universities were among the top 500 universities on two lists.

‘Our research universities should increase publishing rates with patience’

URAP Coordinator Ural Akbulut stressed that Turkish universities put in great effort to reach higher standings in world rankings.

“It is observed that the number of published work and citations of our universities generally rise every year, at least a little. But the rate of rise in these numbers remain below the world average,” he said.

Akbulut reminded that Chinese universities managed to take their places among the world’s best through patience and consistent work for years, and said: “Our research universities can attain success by raising their numbers of published work in patiently, without getting demotivated, by founding new labs, and adding skillful researchers from abroad to their faculty staff.”


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