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French universities take three top-ten places in largest-ever world subject rankings

French universities take three top-ten places in largest-ever world subject rankings

London, 22nd March 2016. The sixth edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, released today on TopUniversities.com, features a record-breaking 42 disciplines, making it the largest-ever ranking of its kind. French universities take three top-ten places in these tables, rounding off a very strong overall performance.

The expert opinion of 76,798 academics and 44,426 employers informed the results, alongside the analysis of 28.5 million research papers and over 113 million citations sourced from the Scopus/Elsevier bibliometric database.

Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) continue to dominate, leading in 24 subjects between them. Each takes twelve leading positions. France’s highest finish comes in Business & Management, in which INSEAD remains 3rd. Two more top-five finishes are provided by Sciences Po Paris - up from 5th to 4th in Politics & International Studies - and Agro Paris Tech, which ranks 5th for Agriculture & Forestry.

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) are France’s strongest universities at the subject level, featuring the top fifty five times each. They are responsible, between them, for twenty-seven of France’s 231 ranked courses, and exactly one third of France’s top fifty finishes. In third place are Sciences Po Paris and Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (ENS Paris), featuring thrice in the top fifty each. However, top-50 places are shared between fifteen different universities, up from eleven in 2015, and the thirty top-fifty places they occupy represent an increase from 22 top-fifty finishes in 2015.

QS rank 53 different French universities in this year’s instalment; the 231 ranks they occupy represent an increase from 220 in 2015. As last year, the average performance of these courses improves significantly. In 2015, France’s ranked courses rose by an average of 3.27 places, while this year the 231 courses rise by an average of 2.95 places per course.

Ben Sowter, Head of the QS Intelligence Unit, said: “Though the US and UK remain dominant, our most inclusive rankings yet show that excellence can be found in an ever-increasing number of places. Nations like Austria, South Africa, Finland, Brazil, China, and Sweden can be found in the top ten of our tables. Our new top 100 for Performing Arts acknowledges academic excellence in 27 different countries, while our top 100 for Mineral Engineering recognises it in 26.”

In the six new disciplines ranked, Harvard University leads the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in Anthropology, while Cambridge leads Oxford and University College London (UCL) in Archaeology. Juilliard tops the table for Performing Arts; it is followed by the University of Performing Arts Vienna. Colorado School of Mines tops Mineral Engineering while MIT takes the second spot. University of Pennsylvania leads Nursing followed by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Toronto. Harvard, London School of Economics, and the University of Oxford take the top three spots for Social Policy and Administration. Nine of the thirty-six rankings published last year have new leaders.

France’s universities see fifty-three new courses added to the forty-two subject tables. Eight of the French debutantes are in the top fifty, while twenty-two are in the top one hundred. The highest number of new additions come in the inaugural Archaeology ranking - five French universities are featured on this table. France’s highest-ranked debutantes are the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, which ranks twelfth for Archaeology, and the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, ranked 12th for Performing Arts.

QS Quacquarelli Symonds have been providing expert insight and analysis for both the higher education and the business sector since 1990. Their QS World University Rankings are the world’s most popular based on Alexa data and other social media metrics. Their annual World University Rankings by Subject provide employers, students, parents, and academics with the most comprehensive insight into global university performance at the subject level. They can be found in their entirety here.