''Times Higher Education World University Rankings'' is an annual publication of university rankings by ''Times Higher Education (THE)'' magazine. It had previously collaborated with Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) to announce ''THE–QS World University Rankings'' from 2004 to 2009 before the partnership was terminated and both started to publish their own league tables. ''THE'' chose to co-operate with Thomson Reuters and more recently Elsevier, and created a new ranking system. The publication now comprises the world's overall, subject and reputation rankings, alongside two regional league tables, ''Asia'' and ''BRICS & Emerging Economies''. ''Times Higher Education World University Rankings'' is considered as one of the most widely observed university measures. It is praised for having a new improved methodology but undermining non-English-instructing institutions and being commercialized are the major criticism.〔〔〔
The creation of the original ''Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings'' was credited in Ben Wildavsky's book, ''The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities are Reshaping the World'', to then-editor of ''Times Higher Education'', John O'Leary. ''Times Higher Education'' chose to partner with educational and careers advice company QS to supply the data.
After the 2009 rankings, ''Times Higher Education'' took the decision to break from QS and signed an agreement with Thomson Reuters to provide the data for its annual World University Rankings from 2010 onwards. The publication developed a new rankings methodology in consultation with its readers, its editorial board and Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters will collect and analyse the data used to produce the rankings on behalf of Times Higher Education. The first ranking was published in September 2010.
Commenting on Times Higher Education's decision to split from QS, former editor Ann Mroz said: "universities deserve a rigorous, robust and transparent set of rankings – a serious tool for the sector, not just an annual curiosity." She went on to explain the reason behind the decision to continue to produce rankings without QS' involvement, saying that: "The responsibility weighs heavy on our shoulders...we feel we have a duty to improve how we compile them."
Phil Baty, editor of the new Times Higher Education World University Rankings, admitted in Inside Higher Ed: "The rankings of the world's top universities that my magazine has been publishing for the past six years, and which have attracted enormous global attention, are not good enough. In fact, the surveys of reputation, which made up 40 percent of scores and which Times Higher Education until recently defended, had serious weaknesses. And it's clear that our research measures favored the sciences over the humanities."
He went on to describe previous attempts at peer review as "embarrassing" in ''The Australian'': "The sample was simply too small, and the weighting too high, to be taken seriously." THE published its first rankings using its new methodology on 16 September 2010, a month earlier than previous years.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, along with the QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities are described to be the three most influential international university rankings.〔 ''The Globe and Mail'' in 2010 described the Times Higher Education World University Rankings to be "arguably the most influential."
In 2014 Times Higher Education announced a series of important changes to its flagship THE World University Rankings and its suite of global university performance analyses, following a strategic review by THE parent company TES Global.〔http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/news/times-higher-education-announces-reforms-to-world-university-rankings Times Higher Education announces reforms to its World University Rankings.〕
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