Four Catalan universities ranked among the top 150 schools under 50 years old

Four out of the ten Spanish universities included on the 2016 Times Higher Education (THE) list of the top 150 universities under 50 years old are native to Catalonia. The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) was named 12 out of 150, with Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) ranked 15th. Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) as well as the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) were included among the rankings. Though the universities are young, THE’s editor-at-large and the editor of THE’s World University Rankings, Phil Baty, cites Catalonia’s “strong sense of civil engagement” as a driving force in the universities’ growth and stand-out performance in this year’s rankings among educational institutions both young and old. 

Students doing a test at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (by ACN)
Students doing a test at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (by ACN) / ACN


April 7, 2016 06:29 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- Four Catalonia universities were ranked among the top 150 universities under 50 years old by Times Higher Education on the 6th of April. Six other universities from Spain were included on the list, but Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) received the highest ranking out of all 10 Spanish universities on the list, coming in 12th out of 150. Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) was ranked closely at 15th, with Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) ranked 83rd and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia also making the list. THE’s editor-at-large and the editor of THE’s World University Rankings, Phil Baty, said that Catalonian universities stood out both in this particular category and among other more traditional educational institutions. 

They're leading the way in Spain and growing among the young universities, but they also do stand out across the traditional world rankings,” Baty said. “I think there is a spirit here, there is a sense that the universities are absolutely integral to economic growth, to societal development here in Catalunya.” 

After attending the launch of the Times Higher Education Young Universities Summit hosted at UPF from the 5th to the 7th of April, Baty added that the community support for education is what is driving these universities to success.

"I think there's a very strong sense of civic engagement that the local community support the universities. The local government is committed to funding the universities, and that's a successful formula. Combine that with innovative leadership and talented people coming together, then you get a winning formula,” Baty said. 

Six other Spanish universities made the cut

Outside of Catalonia, Times Higher Education also included six other universities from Spain on the list. Ranked 71st, The Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) was recognised. Additionally, the University of Alcalá, the University of the Basque Country, the University of Carlos III of Madrid, the Polytechnic University of Valencia, and the University of Vigo were included among the 101st to 150th ranks. 

With 10 universities in the rankings, Spain tied with Germany as the 4th country with the most universities on the list. The United Kingdom, Australia, and France had the most universities recognised on the 2016 list. 

THE’s 150 Under 50 list celebrates its 5th year

Started in 2012, THE’s 150 Under 50 list was created to recognise the efforts of younger institutions that have made a significant impact on the world in a matter of years — not centuries. Universities that make the list are measured based on 13 separate performance indicators grouped into 5 areas: teaching, research, citations, international outlook, and industry income. Additionally, the institutions are required to teach undergraduates, and publish at least 200 research articles per year in order to make the cut. From there, universities are judged based on criteria that are better suited to younger universities in order to better recognise their achievements over their first 50 years of establishment. Once they reach 51, however, the institutions are no longer eligible for the list.