BBU – the only Romanian university ranked in the prestigious 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai)

Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca (BBU) is the only Romanian university to be included in the prestigious Shanghai ranking – one of the most relevant international rankings of world universities (Academic Ranking of World Universities –, ranking between 800-900 internationally.

Of the 30,000 global universities, approx. 2,500 reach a part of the Shanghai criteria/indicators, and the first 1,000 are published. Therefore, ranking among 800-900, BBU classifies at least among the first 5% universities in the world.

“On the one hand, I’m glad that BBU keeps holding on to its position in this important university ranking. On the other hand, I’m sad to see the authorities’ unpredictable policies, which do not make for a programmatic development (i.e., since 2021, we’ve been first in supporting research in universities, but at the same time we are cutting a massive number of places in master’s degree/ doctoral studies, both nationally (master’s), and within universities like BBU (master’s and doctoral studies) that can make us internationally competitive; in other words, this happens precisely where there are publications relevant to this ranking). Finally, I’m worried that some countries with a Communist trajectory similar to ours – a time when universities were being fragmented and research drastically reduced – have more and/or better ranking universities (e.g., Hungary has 4, and 3 of which are better ranked than BBU, while Poland has 11) – this speaks volumes to our country’ competitiveness”, said the BBU rector, Prof. Daniel David.

The BBU rector also added: “This performance is the more remarkable for BBU as it is achieved with the contribution of the university’s science and technology areas, since social sciences are not comprehensively quantified (publications in this field mainly include books, which are not included in this ranking), and arts and humanities are completely unassessed (as their scientific or vocational results are not quantified). We must understand that BBU does not have all of the relevant scientific and technological components in its structure and that most of its elements include social sciences, humanities and arts; this is why when it is analysed comprehensively, as other rankings do, BBU holds better international positions (e.g., 675 in the American US News ranking).

The ranking criteria for Shanghai are the following: (1) education quality (10%); (2) quality of academic staff (40%); (3) research (40%) and (4) performance measured through the size of te institution (10%). Among the indicators, the Nobel and Field prizes are taken into consideration, the number of Highly Cited Researchers, publications in the journals Nature and Science, and scientific publications in Science and Social Science Citation index.

Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca (BBU) is the university with the oldest academic tradition in Romania (founded 441 years ago – 1581), representing the largest academic community in the country (with over 55,000 students and staff members, in 15 cities and 11 counties). Since its foundation, BBU has been part of the gallery of prestigious and referential universities in Romania, and during the past 7 years it has ranked first in the country, in the University Metaranking, which combines the major international rankings of universities. For several years now, BBU has occupied top positions at national level in the global rankings and in rankings on fields; it has constantly been among the 5% of world universities, with an advanced academic infrastructure (e.g., RDI units integrated into European networks, modernised didactic laboratories integrated with virtual/augmented/mix reality through the BBU-EON-XR Centre etc.). Recently (in 2021), following an international audit by QS STAR, BBU has been confirmed as the first “world-class” (QS*****) university in Romania, and in 2020 it was accepted into the GUILD, the organisation of some of the most prestigious world-class/research-intensive European universities, it has received the HR Award for Excellence, and in 2021/2022 it has become part of the EUTOPIA European university alliance.