Sant’Anna School and Scuola Normale Superiore continue to dominate the rankings in Italy according to the British THE Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. It is global university league table to judge research-intensive universities across each one of their core missions: teaching, research, international outlook, citations and knowledge transfer. This 2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings includes 45 Italian universities; as well as being ranked first and second place in Italy, Sant’Anna School and Scuola Normale Superiore , have been ranked 149th (Sant’Anna) and 152nd (Normale) is in the global top 200.
Students and families rely on university rankings to make their college attendance decisions. Two years ago, the two Higher Education institutions in Pisa joined with Scuola IUSS - Pavia to form a Consortium and promote intellectual collaboration and innovative programs for students, and the national and global communities they serve. Both Sant’Anna and Normale climbed 4 and 9 places respectively. Their performance is much better. Last year the THE World Univeristy Rankings covered 1,258 universities, this year the rankings included 1,396 institutions across 92 countries.
The 2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings used 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons. Sant’Anna School places among the top 100 based on the impact of research and knowledge transfer (indicator “Industry Income”). It has been ranked 84th when using the indicator assessing the third mission capacity building that extends community engagement beyond business and economic aspects including social, environmental and cultural dimensions. The Scuola Normale Superiore has been ranked 72nd based on the indicator of teaching quality. It continues to enjoy a remarkably consistent performance (it jumped 9 places) also when evaluated according to the international student ratio and the number of citations.
Teaching quality and research output are typically cited by students as matters of great importance when comparing Higher Education institutions. Infact, the THE World University Rankings measure institutional research quality using the total number of citations received by all (at least 1,000) papers produced by the institution across a five-year period by the number of faculty members at that institution. This means that Sant’Anna and Normale, as small (and young) universities, need to “normalize” their research citations and have them measured differently (even though they have been ranked 4thand 5th globally) to others from larger institutions.
Sant’Anna School Sabina Nuti and Scuola Normale Superiore Luigi Ambrosio added their comments: “The THE World University analysis ranks the global university context rather than individual universities and we are proud they have reaffirmed our position as leading institutions. Our success is in large part due to our research activities and knowledge transfer innovation as crucial aspects of high quality teaching. Sant’Anna and Normale, as a Consortium of public institutions, contribute to government and civil society working to improve research output and the effectiveness of public service for talented students. We perform a wide range of roles, responsibilities and activities that link universities to the rest of society adding value to our national economic performance”.
“In Italy, our challenge is to increase investment in research and development combining our university educational role with knowledge transfer. Despite the low level of Italian public education spending (especially if compared to educational opportunities in Germany and France), our actual performance levels have remained constant or even improved. This means 45 Italian universities can play a crucial role in the economic growth of our country. In strengthening our collaboration, we can compete in global education market providing accountability for public investment in research and improving our academic reputation”.