Seven Western programs among global elite

Four Western subjects now count themselves among the Top 50 programs in the world, according to the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject, released today.

Library & Information Management (No. 16), Sports-related Subjects (No. 32), Nursing (No. 46) and Engineering – Mineral & Mining (No. 50) all topped the Western list by breaking into the global Top 50. Three additional subjects ranked among the Top 100 in the world, including Philosophy, Anatomy & Physiology and Business & Management Studies (No. 51-100).

In total, Western ranked among the global elite in 31 of 45 subjects in which it was scored.

Published annually since 2011, the QS World University Rankings by Subject highlight the world’s top-performing institutions in a broad spectrum of individual academic areas and help prospective students identify leading universities in their chosen field of study.

To produce the rankings for this year, the QS team analysed more than 22 million papers, producing close to 200 million citations.

In total, 1,368 institutions have been ranked across 48 subjects in five subject areas, creating more than 15,500 published entries. Of the five subject areas, Western ranked highest in Social Sciences & Management, followed by Life Sciences & Medicine, Engineering and Technology, Arts & Humanities, and Natural Sciences.

According to the QS rankings, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the best university in the world for a dozen subjects – more than any other university. MIT is closely followed by Harvard University and the University of Oxford, ranked tops for 11 and eight subjects respectively.

Despite MIT and Harvard’s impressive performance, U.S. universities appear to be declining, with fewer U.S. degree programs featuring in the Top 50 than last year.

The UK, India and mainland China have all seen improvements on last year’s performance, although not all at the same rate.