Within the RUR rankings system all higher education institutions are classified along three dimensions:


1. Leagues:

The world of higher education is diverse and, to emphasize this diversity, we have introduced a system of the so-called Leagues. Each of the approximately 20,000 universities of the world is unique: one is a global research hub that brings together leading scientists in one place, another focuses on training staff for a necessity of a particular region within the country, while the third aims for teaching middle managers of global companies, to whom the university is an additional boost for career development.


Despite of the variety, the universities are united by their commitment to excellence. In order to emphasize this commitment we have introduced a system of the Leagues, resembling the Olympic medals system.

RUR Leagues


Each league embraces a hundred of universities (1st, 2nd hundred and so on):

• Diamond League (Rank 1-100)

• Golden League (Rank 101-200)

• Silver League (Rank 201-300)

• Bronze League (Rank 301-400)

• Copperr League (Rank 401-500)

• World League (501+)


We note that our task is to show the diversity of higher education institutions on the basis of a simple statistical method of distributing objects to clusters. Leagues represent the universities’ desire for progress and perfection.


Diamond LeagueDiamond League (1-100)

The Diamond League shows professionalism and the highest quality of both research and education. Universities presented in the Diamond League demonstrated themselves as world’s centers of excellence and competence. In the league one can find both centuries-old universities, whose history counts more than 500 years, and young participants, who barely reached the 50 year mark.

To get into the Diamond League universities should obtain equally excellent education and research scores, have a high level of internationalization and demonstrate strong financial sustainability.


Golden LeagueGolden League (101-200)

The noble metal is for the RUR members, who got the second place in the league distribution.

Universities included in the Golden league are equally strong both in education and teaching fields, with a focus on one of them. And are equally high internationalized and financially sound.


Silver LeagueSilver League (201-300)

The third step in the RUR system is the Silver league. Universities included in this league tend to have a pronounced component: either research or teaching.


Bronze LeagueBronze League (301-400)

The Bronze league unites the universities of the 4th hundred. To be counted as a part of the league the university should get into the 3rd quartile on main RUR indicators and get into the 2nd quartile in International Diversity and Financial Sustainability groups.


Copper LeagueCopper League (401-500)

The 5th league is copper. It completes the series of the so-called “colored” or “metal” leagues. Higher education institutions included in the Copper League close the prestigious top-500 in RUR Rankings. Universities from this league can be considered as elite, because they are in the top 2-2.5% of world universities.


World LeagueWorld League (501+)

The World League unites universities from all countries that pursue excellence. The goal of World League universities is to get into top-500 by strengthening their positions. The World league may be called a reserve bench, pressing forward on to top-500 leaders.



2. Dimension areas:

Several groups of measurement and individual rankings exist within the RUR ranking. In addition to the Overall ranking, higher education institutions are evaluated by four areas:


• Teaching

• Research

• International Diversity

• Financial Sustainability.


In contrast to the overall ranking, the single-area rankings allow to reveal university’s strengths and weaknesses in certain fields, not just in general.




Rankings of leading world universities are conducted on the basis of four areas of activity – Teaching, Research, International Diversity and Financial Sustainability.

Teaching Teaching
Education is commonly underestimated in global university rankings. There is a natural explanation for this - it is very difficult to quantitatively measure the quality of teaching. Anyone who measures the quality of education must operate with quantitative ratios. Teaching is the cornerstone of higher education and, more broadly, education in general.
Research Research
Research is also an important component of a university; it is a key feature of a university as well as Teaching. This area is related to research productivity, measured on the basis of scientometrics data.
International Diversity International Diversity
In a global world, the ability to attract students and teachers from other countries means more than ever. A high level of internationalization shows how attractive a university is and, consequently, how competitive it is in the global arena. However, internationalization largely depends on the overall circumstances in a given country and universities are unable to change these conditions. In short, internationalization is more dependent on a country's culture and politics rather than on the university.
Financial Sustainability Financial Sustainability
This group shows the financial position of a university and determines the degree of involvement of the university in the real economy, its ability to attract investment from industry. Financial stability in a global economy is important for universities since they are a part of global economy.


3. Subject Areas

University rankings serve a variety of functions, one of the most common is being a source of information. Overall rankings give us a picture that can be used for comparing whole universities. Subject rankings allow comparing university activity in a specific or few specific areas. If one is interested in analysing university by specific subject areas throughout the world, Subject rankings are an ideal way to do so. Using our system of indicators, users will be able to compare programs in details. These comparisons will allow users to obtain subject-specific information.


RUR will provide the rankings in six broad subject areas: Arts & Humanities, Life Sciences, Engineering & Technology, Medical Sciences, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences.

Arts and Humanities  Arts & Humanities
This subject area includes such disciplines as history, philosophy, philology, etc. Humanitarian sciences are traditionally underestimated in university rankings. On the contrary, the ranking which is solely focused on humanities can illuminate this subject area better rather than general rankings.
Life Sciences Life Sciences
The subject ranking provides insights into the highest rated universities for life sciences. The subject area includes biology, biomedicine, bioinformatics etc.
Engineering and Technology Engineering & Technology
This subject ranking marks out top universities in the area of Engineering & Technology. Apart from engineering disciplines, this subject area includes all kinds of IT disciplines, robotics, telecommunications etc.
Medical Sciences Medical Sciences
Current subject ranking provides a list of the best universities for Medical sciences throughout the world. All medical related disciplines are included in this area: oncology, dermatology, nursing etc.
Social Sciences Social Sciences
This subject ranking provides information on the best universities’ offerings in Social Sciences programs. This subject area unites subject categories devoted to the humanities and social studies: law, social work, linguistics, international relations etc.
Natural Sciences Natural Sciences
This ranking presents the top universities for Natural sciences subject area. Natural Sciences unifies such disciplines as: physics, mathematics, chemistry, geography etc.


The complex and multi-variable nature of worldwide university rankings demands a multidimensional view. Rankings provide tools for analysing universities to get a clearer picture of university activity throughout the world. RUR Rankings Agency believes that its objective system has made that picture a bit clearer for both academic community and students.