Published on 19.12.2023

The University of Fribourg in 2023's rankings

This year the University of Fribourg has maintained or improved its position in all rankings in which it participates. In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking, which is one of the most comprehensive rankings, Fribourg has been placed this year among the Top 500 Universities in the world. We have also drastically improved our position in the QS Sustainability Ranking.

Although the University of Fribourg welcomes this news and continues to approach the growing importance of global university rankings proactively, it does not do so uncritically. Many rankings are problematic from a scientific point of view as their objectives are often poorly defined and their methods opaque. There is even a considerable danger of such problematic rankings becoming self-fulfilling prophecies with some institutions adjusting their research strategies to fit ranking criteria rather than their academic missions (see here). This is why the University of Fribourg has become a full member of the European Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) and is therefore committed to avoiding the use of university rankings when assessing individual researchers.

Having said all this, the University of Fribourg also recognises that rankings can provide students and researchers with tools and data to help them decide which institution might be a good fit for them. We therefore submit data to several well-known global rankings. In this process, we prioritise those rankings which operate most transparently, and we accompany this work with pointers for the responsible use of the data to be found in such rankings.

In line with this strategy, the University of Fribourg this year submitted data for the first time to two rankings that base their assessment on impact and sustainability. In the QS Sustainability ranking Fribourg now holds position 311 worldwide and counts among the top half of ranked institutions nationally. The results of the THE Impact Ranking will be available next June and we expect a good assessment of the University’s efforts designed to alleviate our environmental impact. We are also pleased to announce that in the CWTS Leiden Ranking, which is based entirely on data from publications databases, the University of Fribourg stands out in Switzerland with the highest proportion of open access publications (>85%) and among the top three institutions with the highest proportion of female authors. We are proud of these numbers as they provide evidence that our commitment to open science, gender equality, and sustainability translates into our everyday scientific practices here in Fribourg.

If you have any questions concerning university rankings and University of Fribourg’s participation within them, do not hesitate to contact Efrain Ochoa Martinez (

If you have any questions relating to CoARA and the University of Fribourg’s participation in it, do not hesitate to contact Regine Maritz (