Four new subject rankings announced

US and UK lose dominance in law, while social sciences, business and economics and education results also released

October 13, 2021
The KU University library, Leuven, Belgium
Source: iStock
The KU University library, Leuven, Belgium

Browse the full results of the World University Rankings 2022 by subject for law, social sciences, business and economics and education 


The US and the UK have lost their dominance at the top of the latest Times Higher Education law subject rankings, with universities in Australia, Singapore and Belgium joining the top 10.

The US drops from having six universities in the top 10 to four, and the UK from four to three, as the University of Melbourne jumps up to take fifth spot, the National University of Singapore rises to eighth, and KU Leuven in Belgium takes 10th position.

With five nations represented at the top, the law tables are now the most international top 10 of any THE subject ranking. This is also the only 2022 subject ranking that features institutions in Australia and Belgium in the top 10.

Stanford and Cambridge retain first and second place respectively, but New York University climbs from seventh to third, pushing Oxford down to fourth place. Yale moves from fifth to ninth position. Chicago and Duke in the US both drop out of the top 10.

KU Leuven ascends from 25th place last year to 10th. The rise was driven by higher scores for teaching and research, with the university now ranking first for law research in the world, up from 21st last year.

There are now five Belgian universities in the top 200, up from four last year. Other Belgian institutions also ascend the table: Ghent moves from joint 76th to 40th and Vrije Universiteit Brussel rises from the 101-125 band to 41st. It is a different story for the University of Antwerp, however, which loses its place in the top 100, dropping from 97th to the 126-150 band.

The National University of Singapore’s rise is due to improved scores for research and international collaboration. Melbourne rises up the ranks thanks to a drop in scores for the universities that were above it, rather than because of a score increase.

Wouter Devroe, dean of the law faculty at KU Leuven, said the department "opts for a research policy that puts the autonomy of the individual researcher first".

"Instead of advancing a small set of research priorities, senior as well as junior individual researchers are systematically encouraged to pursue their own ideas and develop their own research programmes. Without such a policy, the faculty would be much less diverse than it is now,” he said.

The social sciences, education and business and economics rankings for 2022 have also been released. Chinese universities now have more representation at the top of the latter two rankings, with 14 in the top 200 for business and economics, up from 12 last year, and nine in the education tables, compared with six in 2021.

The publication of these subject rankings follows the release of computer science and engineering earlier this month and four health and science subject rankings in September: clinical and healthlife sciencesphysical sciences and psychology.

The final THE subject ranking for 2022 on arts and humanities will be released on 3 November.

rosa.ellis@timeshighereducation.com

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