The 2021 edition of the ranking compiled by the RUR Rankings Agency based on the Clarivate Analytics data has been published. The quality of the teaching and research, financial sustainability and internationality of the staff of 867 universities in 85 countries were assessed. The Scuola Normale Superiore ranks 23rd worldwide and first in Italy. Harvard, Caltech and Stanford University rank first, second and third, respectively.

Pisa, April 27, 2021

The Scuola Normale Superiore is confirmed as being first in Italy and close to the top 20 universities in the world in the Round University Ranking (RUR), which compares the performance of 867 major universities in 85 countries over the last 10 years (2010-2020).

The 2021 edition was published today. The Normale ranks 23rd worldwide (the first three are Harvard University, California Institute of Technology and Stanford University) and has advanced by three positions compared to the previous year, reaffirming the first place in our country.

The ranking uses 20 different indicators, covering 4 areas of interest:  quality of teaching (Teaching) and research (Research), which have an overall weight of 80% in determining the final score; internationalization (International Diversity), i.e. the presence of international students and  academic staff, and financial sustainability (Financial Sustainability), which account for the remaining 20%.

In the “Teaching” parameter, the SNS ranks tenth overall and first in Italy. The "Research" parameter has improved: the Scuola Normale ranks 63rd in the world, and, again, first in Italy (in 2020, 83rd and third respectively). Regarding the parameters “Financial Sustainability” and “International Diversity” the results are not particularly significant in comparison with those of other institutions worldwide; in Italy, however, the Scuola Normale ranks first and second.

The ranking is compiled by the RUR Rankings Agency, which is based in Moscow, on the basis of data from the American Clarivate Analytics. Among the 20 indicators that determined the rankings are the international academic reputation, the number of undergraduate and PhD students compared to the overall staff, articles in scientific journals and others.

“The RUR ranking has always been particularly rewarding for the Scuola Normale”, say the Director of the SNS, Luigi Ambrosio, and the ProRector for research, assessment and ranking, Angelo Vistoli. “The general criterion with which it is compiled takes into account the size of the universities and therefore small institutions such as ours are not penalized. If we look for example at the indicator "scientific publications of the research staff” we can see that the number of papers attributable to researchers and professors of a university, published in journals in a given period, is compared to the total number of researchers and professors present in that university: in this way the Scuola Normale is highly competitive. Also, moving on to the area of teaching, the fact that the Normale has few undergraduates and doctoral students does not become a weakness, as in other rankings, but a strength: there are few students but many lecturers and structures dedicated to them, which constitutes an undoubted advantage in terms of level of education”.

In the coming months the RUR will publish the rankings by disciplinary sector, including Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, in some of which the Scuola Normale obtained prestigious rankings in the past.