The ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’ (ARWU), which is popularly known as ‘Shanghai Ranking’, is one of the three most influential lists of the best universities, which is produced yearly by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy since the year 2003.

The ranking of 2017 was published this week, and the first position was for the Harvard University (USA), which has been occupying this position for the last 14 years. The rest of the five best rankings were for Stanford University (USA), University of Cambridge (UK), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), and University of California, Berkeley (USA).

It is possible to browse the complete listing at this webpage, where there is a complete ranking with the so-called ‘Top 500’ of the best 500 universities of the world. However, within this listing, there is only a Mexican University, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM), located in Mexico City. It is in the 201-300 position of the world ranking.

We must go to the ‘501-800 ranking’ to find another Mexican University, the National Polytechnic Institute (Instituto Politécnico Nacional, IPN), located also in Mexico City. None of the rest of the most prestigious Universities in Mexico (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Metropolitan Autonomous University, or University of Guadalajara) are within the ranking.

We can find Universities of other Latin American countries within the ‘Top 500’, like the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil, 151-200 position), University of Buenos Aires (Argentina, 201-300), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, 301-400), or the University of Chile (Chile, 301-400).

The Shanghai Ranking of Universities takes into account and weights some criteria, like the number of alumni as Nobel laureates, the number of alumni as Fields Medalists (known as “the mathematician’s Nobel Prize”), the number of highly cited researchers in some specific broad subject categories, or the number of papers published in ‘Nature’ and ‘Science’.

National Autonomous University of Mexico

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Mexico, only one University in the Top 500