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Accueil > A la une > Archives > Nouvelles scientifiques

Wikipedia Ranking of World Universities

par Edith Burgey -

International ranking of the leading international universities has just been set up by researchers from UTINAM Institute (UMR CNRS/UBFC) and LPT (UMR CNRS/Toulouse University), in using the mathematical analysis of 17 million Wikipedia pages in 24 different language editions. Besides the consideration of academic excellence, this ranking has also the advantage of taking into account the cultural and historical significance of universities, thus mitigating the hegemony of american universities in other international rankings.

PNG - 82.5 ko
Ranking of universities hustled
(Credit : E. Burgey-Mérignac - Institut UTINAM)

International ranking of the most influential universities has been obtained in studying statistically 24 Wikipedia language editions, covering 59% of world
population and 68% of the total number of Wikipedia articles in all 287 Wikipdia language editions.

The used approach is entirely independent from cultural choices and preferences and does not a priori favour any organisational mode
of academic research (a bias which is often attributed to former rankings such as Shanghai’s). Each Wikipedia language edition is analysed as a network whose nodes are articles linked together through hyperlinks on which ranking algorithms are applied : the more other important articles cite an article, the more important the article is. Ranking algorithms that are used are similar to that used by Google to classify myriads of web pages and respond efficiently to billions of daily user requests.

The correlation between this ranking and the one of Shanghai is nonetheless high since the two rankings share 60% of common universities in their respective top 100. However, the ranking proposed by researchers from Besançon and Toulouse incorporates all the knowledge accumulated in the 24 Wikipedia language editions and take also into account the cultural, social and historical influence of each university.

The international ranking of the most influential universities according to Wikipedia mitigates the hegemony of american universities with respect to other rankings such as Shangai’s.
Hence Cambridge and Oxford universities, for instance, supplant the Harvard and Stanford american universities at the first two places of the ranking. Furthermore, the german and english universities are the most numerous after the american universities among the top 100 of the most influential universities, because of the their historical weight before the nineteenth century.

Most research policies in several developed countries have been reviewed in the light of results of international rankings such as Shanghai’s. It can be anticipated that the international ranking of the most influential universities according to Wikipedia will be used to evaluate differently the performances of research and higher education national institutions.

Results of this study have been remarkd by the MIT Technology Review :

The publication of results has been submitted to "The European Physical Journal B".

The preprint is available on the arXiv electronic archive :

Detailed results of the ranking are available here :

Contacts :

Dr. José Lages - Assistant professor


PhAs team - Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics

Université de Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

Telephone : +33 381666903

E-mail : jose.lages(at)

Web :
Dr. Dima Shepelyansky

CNRS Research Director

Laboratoire de Physique Théorique du CNRS


Toulouse University

Telephone : +33 561556068

E-mail : dima(at)

Web :