The Cross Ranking (CR) is a meta-ranking aiming to link available data contained in the most important world rankings in order to provide and analyse the richest and most comprehensive information about the performance as well as strengths and weaknesses of higher education institutions and national higher education systems. It is based on the results of the three most prestigious and influential world university rankings: the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), the QS World University Rankings (QS) and the THE World University Rankings (THE), so far for the 2012-2019 period.

Our study Cross Ranking 2018. Comparing World Higher Education Systems and Institutions is available on the site of Education Policy Centre (EPC), Faculty of Education, Charles University: Cross Ranking 2018 (PDF).

The figure below clearly illustrates that the increasing number of higher education institutions published in the three rankings (ARWU, QS, and THE) increases not only the total number of institutions entering into the Cross Ranking (from 821 in the year 2012 to 1 721 in the year 2019) but also the number of institutions whose data from all three rankings considered are avail¬able (between the years 2012 and 2019 their number increased from 318 to 638).

All the 1 721 institutions included in the Cross Ranking 2019 undoubtedly represent high quality higher education institutions in the world, in each world region and in each individual country. However, no longer they make only a rather limited elite top. Globally, almost 10% of all higher education institutions are ranked in the Cross Ranking 2019 but already a fifth in the EU 28, a quarter in the EU 15, and even a third in Oceania (in terms of population dominated by two developed OECD countries, Australia and New Zealand).

Thus we can analyse not only the current status and position but since 2012 also the development of a large number of higher education institutions from all over the world (98 countries had at least one institution in one of the rankings in 2019). Moreover, we can also analyse both the position and the development of higher education systems, as revealed by their total score that is by the sum of scores of all higher education institution from a given country. The conclusions are very interesting, sometimes they con¬firm our expectation, sometimes they offer new facts, views or findings.
Our aim, however, is not only to determine an overall score and a final position of the best higher education institutions and systems in the world. What is more important to us, is the opportunity to provide their far more detailed and comprehensive profiles based not on a limited number of dimensions (as it is the case of ARWU, QS and THE) but on their aggregate, the 17 dimensions of the Cross Ranking. And moreover, this is possible to do not only for each higher education institution but also for each higher education system.

The Cross Ranking links all the information contained in the three rankings in their 3 overall scores and also in their 17 dimensional scores (that is in 6 dimensional scores in the ARWU and the QS, and 5 dimensional scores in the THE) that together create the profile of each institution. Thus the Cross Ranking provides significantly richer information about each higher education institution and also about each individual higher education system than contained in each of the three rankings separately.
The linked Cross Ranking data have been computed and become available for the years 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. They allow to analyse the development of individual institutions and also of individual higher edu¬cation systems in the last seven years. So let’s take a look at main CR results (overall results for all HEIs as well for national systems of higher education 2012–2019 are available at our application:

The application was supported by the Charles University (Czech Republic), project GA UK No. 1530214 - Analysis of Methodologies and Results of World University Rankings 2005-2014.
Education Policy Centre
Faculty of Education
Charles University in Prague
Malátova 17
150 00 Prague 5
Czech Republic