Funding, is it key for standing out in the university rankings? Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2019

start page

  • 771

end page

  • 792


  • 2


  • 121

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0138-9130

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1588-2861


  • This paper studies the infuence of funding on the position reached by the top 300 universities (institutions) of the Quaccarelly Symond World University Ranking 2018. Geographical location, ownership nature (public/private), size and fnancial resources of these top universities are examined. Our analysis shows that public funding become critical up to 84% of these top universities, especially for the European universities. Moreover, funding explains up to 51% of the variability of the positions attained by the universities in theranking. The infuence of funding in the improvement of the universities' ranking score is also studied. We provide evidence that the top 100 universities double the funds of the universities located in positions 101&-200 and triple those of the universities in positions 201&-300 of the ranking. This is an exceptional exercise in relating university funding and excellence that usually are examined for university systems (countries) not for universitiesthemselves


  • world rankings; qs ranking; universities; funding and excellence