La Normale di Pisa is the first university in the world for research in ‘Natural Sciences’: physics, mathematics, chemistry. This was announced by an international ranking published today October 21, the RUR Natural Sciences World University Ranking, which evaluated the performances of over 700 universities in the ‘Natural Sciences’, analyzing the number of papers published by the academic staff, and quotations from international journals, academic reputation, scientific impact, number of admitted graduates who reach the doctorate.
The RUR World University Ranking is published by an agency based in Moscow based on data from the US Clarivate Analytics, and is compiled taking into account the size of the universities. Overall in the disciplinary field of Natural Sciences, which corresponds, except for biology, to the Class of Normal Sciences, the School that belonged to the Nobel Fermi and Rubbia and the Fields Figalli medal ranks third in the world together with Stanford University (before) and at Princeton University (second) and in front of the Massachusetts Institute of Techonology (MIT) in Boston. The second Italian is 106th.
To draw up the ranking in the Natural Sciences, twenty parameters were analyzed, subdivided into four sectors: ‘research’, which has a weight of 40% (Normal best university in the world), ‘teaching’, also with a weight of 40% on the overall score (the Normal is first in Italy, third in the world), then Internationalization and finally financial sustainability of the activities, both of which weigh 10% (Normal 187th and 41st worldwide, always first in Italy).
In the general classification, which considers university performances also in the Human Sciences, Life Sciences, Medicine, Technological Sciences, Social Sciences, as well as in Natural Sciences, the Scuola Normale Superiore is 22nd in the world , by far the first Italian university (the second is the University of Pisa, 209th) and confirms the placement of last year, twenty-first. Clarivate Analytics has provided data for 930 universities for the overall ranking.
The director of La Normale Luigi Ambrosio comments: “I would like to take this opportunity to solicit a public reflection on the value of these rankings and on how they are presented, given that they have a great media relevance. I do it in this circumstance, not suspect, precisely because the Normal is rewarded in such a blatant way.There are many ratings, compiled with very different criteria and motivations by different actors, sometimes not completely taking into account the size of the universities (for example, it is like comparing Ferrari with a large car manufacturer counting the respective numbers of cars produced) and of the different missions (generalist university, polytechnic, center of advanced studies …) It is right at this point to ask what value they have in ruling the level of an entire university, I consider this value overvalued If anything, the ratings can be useful to highlight trends of improvement or deterioration, as I have de just a few days ago on the occasion of the inauguration of the Academic Year. That said, more in-depth analyzes are underway at the Scuola Normale and I am not surprised by the results of the latter ranking, well-weighted on the size of the universities. The quality standards of our institution, which require us to recruit the best students, provide them with a staff of professors to the height, work in research on a daily basis, make it almost physiologically normal among the first university institutions, especially in sectors where bibliometrics monitoring is simpler and more consolidated as in physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry. Moreover, even in this year’s rating of Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University, which takes into account performance based on the number of students and academic staff, La Normale has ranked eighth worldwide”.