VNU enters THE world university rankings for the first time

On September 11th, 2019, The Times Higher Education (THE) magazine released the latest World University Rankings 2020 during THE Academic Summit held in Zurich (Switzerland).

Accordingly, for the first time the Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU) and 2 other higher education institutions in Vietnam have been ranked by the THE along with nearly 1.400 leading universities worldwide. VNU along with Hanoi University of Science & Technology were ranked among the top 801-1000, followed by the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City in the top 1000+.

The rankings of Universities in Vietnam in the THE World University Rankings


Together with Hanoi University of Science & Technology, VNU was given a score of 22.2 – 28.2 by THE. In which, VNU has the highest rankings in terms of Teaching, Scientific Research, and International Outlook in the group of the Vietnamese higher education institutions. VNU – Ho Chi Minh ranks first by Industry Income. Meanwhile, the Hanoi University of Science & Technology leads the group by Citations.

This year, THE ranked 1,395 higher education institutions from 92 countries out of 1,820 candidates. This is the largest number to date in the scale of university rankings by THE.

The THE World University Rankings is based on these 5 criteria:

1) Teaching (the learning environment) weighs 30% with 5 ranking criteria, including: reputation survey (15%), staff-to-student ratio (4.5%), doctorate-to-bachelor’s ratio (2.25%), doctorates-awarded-to-academic-staff ratio (6%), and institutional income (2.25%). Institutional income is calculated via purchasing-power parity, reflecting the level of investment in infrastructure and equipment for an institution’s teaching and learning activities;

2) Research (volume; income; reputation) weighs 30%, including: reputation survey (18%), research income (6%), and research productivity (6%);

3) Citations (research influence - the average number of times a university’s published work is cited by scholars globally) weighs 30%. The data was calculated through 23,400 scientific journals of the Scopus database from 2014 to 2018. The number of citations calculated for these publications was from 2014 to 2019. There were 77.4 million citations to 12.8 million published works examined;

4) International outlook (staff, students, research) weight 7.5%, including: proportion of international staff (2.5%), proportion of international students (2.5%), and international collaboration (2.5%, based on the proportion of a university’s total research journal publications that have at least one international co-author);

5) Industry income (knowledge transfer) weighs 2.5%, calculated based on the total income of the technology and knowledge transfer to the business.

Details on the distribution of ranking indicators are below:

Criteria of the THE World University Rankings


The ranking data is based on the Elsevier’s SCOPUS scientific database for the criteria on research productivity, scientific citations, and international outlook. Teaching reputational surveys and scientific research were sent to the authors who have published works in the SCOPUS database. Criteria on income are standardized based on the purchasing power parity (PPP). The remaining criteria are evaluated by THE on the data provided by the universities. The evaluating and data processing of THE were thoroughly and independently supervised by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).


According to the World University Rankings 2020 of THE, Oxford University continues to hold the number 1 position in the world, followed by the California Institute of Technology, Cambridge University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, etc. Most significantly was the breakthrough of the California Institute of Technology, which has jumped from 5th to 2nd place worldwide. In Asia, top universities include Tsinghua University (23rd in the world), Peking University (24), and National University of Singapore (25).


In the process of internationalizing educational, the VNU University of Economics and Business has been creating a rewarding academic environment, helping Vietnamese researchers to actively exchange knowledge with colleagues in the international research network. At the same time, the school also attracts many international speakers to work, participate in seminars, and exchange academic knowledge. Photo: YSI Asia Convening, organized by the VNU University of Economics and Business and the Young Scholar Initiative (YSI-INET), gathered nearly 500 scientists from 38 countries around the world in August 2019


The Global Partnership of Asian Colleges, GPAC 2019 hosted by the VNU University of Economics and Business in August, 2019 attracted the participation of over 200 students from 7 Asian universities, thus creating a very dynamic and rewarding student exchange environment.


The UEB is constantly promoting internationalizing education, expanding cooperation around the world

In the South East Asia, Thailand has 16 universities in the top 1000, followed by Malaysia with 13 universities, Indonesia with 6 universities, and Singapore with 2 universities. Universities in the region with similar rankings with the VNU (top 801-1000) include: Chulalongkorn University (third place in Thailand), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN), and Universiti Utara Malaysia (both ranked in the 9th place in Malaysia)

Beside ranking in the top 801-1000 of the THE World University Rankings 2020, the Vietnam National University, Hanoi is also in the top 801-1000 of the QS World University Ranking, 124th in the QS Asia University Ranking. In the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, VNU is also approaching the world’s top 1000 and ranked first among the Vietnam higher education institutions. VNU also has many programs in the world’s top 1000 of the QS ranking including: physics and astronomy in the top 501 - 550 in the world (ranked first in Vietnam), engineering, aviation and manufacturing ranked 451-500, together with computer science and information systems ranked 551-600. As for Physics, VNU is the only university in Vietnam ranked 502nd in the world by US NEWS.

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Huong Ly - Thanh Tu

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