Understanding the Times Higher Education Rankings 

Published October 4th, 2023. Text by Edith Malmberg & Märta Ernfors, SIREUS

The Times Higher Education Rankings 2024 

Times Higher Education just released its new edition of its World University Rankings. The THE ranking assesses and compares universities from around the world based on various performance indicators to provide insights into their overall academic excellence and reputation. The THE World University Rankings use 17 carefully chosen performance indicators to assess universities. These indicators are grouped into five key areas; Teaching, Research Environment, Research Quality, Industry and International Outlook. 

Why do the THE rankings matter?

The THE World University Rankings are highly influential and widely referenced in the academic community, by both students and policymakers. It covers universities from all regions of the world, making it one of the most comprehensive international university rankings. 
Photo: Magnus Liam Karlsson /imagebank.sweden.se

International outlook and cooperation increasingly important 

The global landscape within education has evolved significantly during recent years. From the ranking, it is evident that today, universities compete globally, attracting students and researchers worldwide. International outlook is vital for both domestic and international students. A global campus fosters open discussions and cross-cultural bonds. In our increasingly interconnected society, possessing international experience and connections has also grown to be a vital asset for students entering the workforce. Universities play an important role in equipping students with the global perspective and skills needed to thrive in a modern work environment. 

One way in which universities can further improve their international outlook is by establishing collaborative partnerships with other seats of higher education worldwide. These partnerships help bring together the collective knowledge, resources and expertise of various institutions around the world, allowing great progress to be made at a faster speed when it comes to some of our time's most pressing matters. 

What SIREUS can offer 

SIREUS stands for Students, Innovators, Researchers and Entrepreneurs between the United States and Sweden. The SIREUS project is in collaboration with 13 Swedish universities, the Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce in the U.S. (SACC-USA) and is supported by the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC as well as the Swedish Institute. It builds on SACC-USA’s bilateral business and talent network and addresses needs identified in collaboration with the Swedish universities. In addition to the Swedish academic network of SIREUS members, a network of American academic institutions is being created, today consisting of 11 American affiliated universities from across the nation that all have an interest to cooperate with the Swedish SIREUS members. 

By establishing five thematic areas each with their own subthemes we strive to facilitate the identification of shared research domains for universities, simplifying the process for academic institutions to discern mutual areas of scholarly interest. As the SIREUS project aims to facilitate Trans-Atlantic knowledge exchange we aim to give our partner universities access to valuable contacts within academia and research in both the United States and Sweden. 
Furthermore, bilateral cooperation within academia opens doors to endless possibilities. Today, attracting skilled talent is increasingly important to secure long-term economic growth between countries. As part of the project, joint activities will be carried out between the universities and the private sector to increase the exchange of students, researchers, and experts, as well as promote knowledge exchange in innovation, science and entrepreneurship between Sweden and the U.S.   

​​​​​​​In short, through international ties and collaboration projects a university can improve its chances to establish itself among the world’s leading institutions for higher education in an increasingly globalized world. This shows the importance of the work and engagements of SIREUS and that all universities benefit from continued involvement in international collaborations and strengthened bilateral cooperations. 


Key points:

  • Having international experience or connections is increasingly important in our ever-connected society and an asset when entering the workforce. 

  • By connecting with other institutions for higher education around the world, universities can continue to widen the scope of their knowledge and work together to tackle today’s most pressing issues. 
  • Without international ties, an institution cannot compete for top competence, in an ever-increasing globalized world. 

More about the SIREUS Project

​​​​​​​SIREUS, a collaboration between The Swedish American Chambers of Commerce (SACC-USA) and 13 Swedish universities, focuses on knowledge exchange in innovation, science, and entrepreneurship, as well as talent mobility for students and researchers between Sweden and the U.S. 
The Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C., and the Swedish Institute support the project through advice and contacts.   

Facilitating research collaboration and exchange between Sweden and the U.S.

​​​​​​​One of SIREUS' aims is to facilitate research collaboration and researcher exchange between Sweden and the U.S. Together with its 13 Swedish Member Universities, SIREUS has identified five thematic areas of research, each of which contains sub-themes within its field.