Should this country’s new slogan be: Argentina, land of superlatives? Between being home to best pizzeria in South America, the number one city in Latin America for students, land of a teen Fortnite champion, and the city where the world’s best comic book store is located, it’s a nation that manages to do pretty well for itself – if you can forget about inflation, insecurity, politics, and the sensación térmica, of course. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that three Argentine universities rank among the top 1,000 worldwide, according to a new report released by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR).
Which are the lucky schools that made the cut? To start, the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), which ranks third in Latin America – behind the University of San Pablo in Brazil and Mexico’s UNAM – and 344th overall. Then comes University of La Plata (UNLP) in 596th place, with University of Córdoba pulling up the caboose in the 894th spot. While it’s impressive for Argentina to rub proverbial shoulders with the likes of Oxford, Princeton, and the University of Chicago, all three universities dropped in the rankings when compared to last year’s results. UBA dipped from position No. 293, UNLP from No. 545, and the University of Córdoba fell from the No. 762 spot.
In order to explain this, Nadim Mahassen spoke to Infobae. “The performance in research of the three universities was similar to last year’s, but that wasn’t enough to maintain their positions in the ranking. Today, Argentine universities aren’t just competing against other Latin American institutions. The competition is global and there’s no room for conformity at that level.” There is also an economic element at play, in his opinion. “It’s a worrying time for Argentine institutions amidst tough global competition. Financing for higher education is crucial if the government hopes for its universities to compete on the world stage. Without long-term investment, Argentina’s universities face the possibility of falling [in the ranking] even more.”
According to its website, the CWUR “publishes the only global university ranking that measures the quality of education and training of students as well as the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of their research without relying on surveys and university data submissions.” Unlike the QS ranking, which relies heavily on opinion surveys, CWUR analyzes quantitative data like amount of students, international awards, and mentions in scientific papers. Universities are then assigned a score according to seven different elements: quality of education (25 percent), alumni employment (25 percent), quality of faculty (10 percent), research output (10 percent), high-level publications (10 percent), influence (10 percent), and citations (10 percent).
UBA director Alberto Barbieri said: “Even though UBA continues to lead on both the local and international levels, the marked decline of all Argentine universities is a clear message for the country’s ruling class. Universities and scientific institutions require a constant boost in investment in order to maintain their level of excellence, and in particular, what UBA requires to continue exercising leverage on the rest of the system.”
Eight other Argentine universities – all public – made CWUR’s list: University of Rosario (1,298), Mar del Plata (1,342), Cuyo (1,423), Litoral (1,450), Comahue (1,570), del Sur (1,578), Tucumán (1,746), and Río Cuarto (1,997).
You can access the complete ranking and more information on the CWUR website.