Academic Ranking of World Universities

Which universities are considered for the ranking?

BCUR considers all 1216 universities in the list of universities and colleges that can grant bachelor’s degrees recognized by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (Published May 21, 2015), including 793 public universities,140 private universities and 283 independent colleges.

The universities ranked in BCUR 2017 include:

1) Universities with a minimum undergraduate enrollment of 100 (2015).

2) Universities with a minimum publication of 100 papers indexed by Scopus (2011-2015).

Ranking Criteria and Weights

BCUR ranks universities according to their performance in four dimensions: teaching and learning, research, social service as well as internationalization.

Dimension Criteria Indicator Weight
Teaching and Learning Quality of Incoming Students Average Score of Incoming Freshmen in National College Entrance Exam 30%
Education Outcome Employment Rate of Bachelor Degree Recipients 15%
Research Scale of Research Number of Papers in Scopus 10%
Quality of Research Field Weighted Citation Impact 10%
Top Research Achievements World Top 1% Most Cited Paper 10%
Top Scholars Top Cited Researchers in China 10%
Social Service Technology Service Research Income from Industry 5%
Technology Transfer Income from Technology Transfer 5%
Internationalization International Student Ratio International Students as a Percentage of Total Students 5%

For each indicator, the highest scoring institution is assigned a score of 100, and other institutions are calculated as a percentage of the top score. Scores for each indicator are weighted as shown above to reach at a final overall score for an institution.

Definition of Indicators

Quality of Incoming Students

The indicator to measure Quality of Incoming Students is the average score of incoming freshmen in national college entrance exam, which reflects the recognition of parents and students towards universities’ reputation for excellence in teaching and learning.

Source:, a government-authorized website.

Education Outcome

The indicator to measure Education outcome is the employment rate of bachelor degree recipients, which is the direct reflection of employers’ acceptance of universities’ graduates.

Source: 2015 Chinese College Graduates’ Employment Quality Report, Teaching Quality Report of the Undergraduate released by each university or other authoritative sources such as provincial education authority.

Scale of Research

The indicator to measure Scale of Research is number of papers (article and review) indexed in Scopus from the year of 2011-2015. Publication is an important outcome of scientific research, thus the number of papers published can reflect the scale of research activities in universities.

Source: Scopus database.

Quality of Research

Quality of Research is measured by Field Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI). Citation has been widely used to evaluate the impact or quality of scientific papers in research evaluation. However, since significant differences exists among citations in different fields, years or types of papers, it could not be used for interdisciplinary comparison until being normalized. FWCI is a normalized indicator recognized internationally as the best quantitative indicator for measuring quality of scientific papers. FWCI calculates the ratio of citation of papers (articles and reviews) published by each university during the period of 2011-2015 to the average citation of papers in the same field, of the same year and same type.

Source: Scopus database.

Top Research Achievements

Universities’ Top Research Achievement is measured by the number of world top 1% most cited papers in each field during the period of 2011-2015, which reflects the academic influences of each university among the academic community.

Source: Scopus database.

Top Scholars

The indicator of Top Scholars is the number of most cited researchers in each field in China. The total number of most cited researchers is around 1770, and the field distribution of those researchers are based on the distribution of total Chinese researchers in each field. The standard for selecting the most cited researchers are objective and unified, which are solely based on researchers’ academic influences.

Source: Scopus database.

Technology Services

Research income from industry is used for measuring Technology Service. One of the main approaches for universities to serve economic development is to solve scientific and technical problems in industries with their knowledge and talent base, and therefore the competence of universities in technology services could be reflected by their income from industry.

Source: Science and Technology Division, Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. Compilation of Statistics on Science and Technology of Higher Education in 2015. Beijing: Higher Education Press.

Technology Transfer

The income from technology transfer is a proxy for the contribution of university’s research output to economic development.

Source: Science and Technology Division, Ministry of Education of People’s Republic of China. Compilation of Statistics on Science and Technology of Higher Education in 2015. Beijing: Higher Education Press.


The indicator to measure Internationalization is international student ratio, where student includes undergraduates, master students and doctoral students. The ratio reflects the international reputation of the university as well as the university’s ability to provide students with an international education environment.

Source: (1) ShanghaiRanking’s Data Exchange Program (DEP). (2) Official statistical reports published by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.

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