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The National University of Colombia Enters the Shanghai Ranking, as the Best University in the Country


Ranking Shanghai Colombia
The National University of Colombia is in the Shanghai Ranking – Credit: Facebook/UNAL

The National University of Colombia (UNAL) has appeared for the first time in the renowned Shanghai Ranking. This ranking places the Colombian institution as the best in the country, ranking at 946th position on a global scale out of 1000. No other Colombian institution appears in this ranking.

Shanghai Ranking

The Shanghai Ranking, established by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) in 2003, is one of the world’s most esteemed university rankings. Annually, it ranks the top 1000 universities globally. In this year’s list, out of the thousand recognized academic institutions, one is Colombian: UNAL. Consequently, the Shanghai Ranking designates the public university as Colombia’s best.

The methodology employed considers the following factors:

  • The number of Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals awarded to individuals educated at or affiliated with the institution.
  • The number of highly cited researchers across 21 broad subject categories.
  • The quantity of articles published in renowned journals Science and Nature.
  • The count of research papers indexed in the Science Citation Index and Social Science Citation Index.
  • “Per Capita Performance,” calculated by dividing the cumulative score of all aforementioned indicators by the number of full-time academics.


Harvard University (USA) once again secures the top spot in the ranking as the world’s best university. Following closely are other North American universities: Stanford University in second place and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in third.

The fourth place is claimed by the first European university, the University of Cambridge (UK), while the University of California, Berkeley (USA) takes fifth place.

Among the top 10 institutions, 8 are North American and 2 are British.

Ranking Shanghai Colombia
List of the Top 10 universities according to the Shanghai Ranking. Credit: Capture/Web image Shanghai Ranking

Recognition for UNAL

The National University of Colombia holds the 946th position on the list. It stands as the sole Colombian university featured in the Shanghai Ranking. The University of Los Andes, which received this recognition in the previous year, is absent from this year’s list.

UNAL excels in academic productivity. For instance, the Colombian institution scores 10.2 points in the “Per Capita Academic Performance” category. Similarly, over the past 5 years, UNAL garnered high scores in the “Number of articles published in Science and Nature journals” category. Members of the National University of Colombia published 7 articles in Science and 4 in Nature between 2017 and 2021.

Ranking Shanghai Colombia
UNAL Faculty of Architecture – Credit: EdgarKhan1 / CC BY-SA 3.0

Latin American Universities

In regard to Latin America, 7 universities from the region are included in this ranking. Once again, Brazil leads the ranking, with the University of Sao Paulo reigning as the best university in the region. Besides Brazil and Colombia, countries such as Argentina and Chile also succeeded in securing spots for their universities.

  • Brazil: University of Sao Paulo, UNESP, and Federal University of Minas Gerais.
  • Mexico: National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
  • Argentina: University of Buenos Aires.
  • Chile: University of Chile.
  • Colombia: National University of Colombia (UNAL).

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