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Duke University Second in Global Ranking for Securing Business Funding

Published: 3 years ago | 0 comments

Private sector investment is a crucial indicator of a university’s ability to fund research and innovation in a highly competitive global marketplace

London, 2 March 2016: The Times Higher Education (THE) has today published the Funding for Innovation ranking for the first time. The ranking shows that America’s Duke University is second globally for its ability to secure business funding and a further institution, Johns Hopkins University, fourth in the list.

The new ranking, which lists the top 20 universities worldwide by the private sector investment received to fund research and innovation, reveals that Duke University received almost $290,000 per academic staff member from private companies. Johns Hopkins University received just under $250,000 per academic staff member placing it fourth worldwide.Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 9.09.00 AM

Phil Baty, the editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, said:

“While the USA has two institutions in the Funding for Innovation ranking, it is perhaps underperforming when compared to the number of elite universities it boasts in the World University Ranking.

“It is no longer good enough to describe a university’s interactions with business as its “third mission” behind teaching and research. In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, strong links to industry are essential to a university’s success: they help bolster vital revenues; they ensure institutions are not too dependent on state funding and the instability and political micro-management that often comes with that; they place the university at the heart of a nation’s economic development, innovating and developing new technologies and services; and perhaps most importantly, they help ensure that students are properly equipped for successful careers.”

Also in the top five institutions worldwide are LMU Munich in first place with $392,800, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in third with $254,700 per academic staff member and Anadolu University in Turkey and Netherlands’ Wageningen University and Research Center both in joint fifth with $242,500 per academic staff member each.

The USA is perhaps the surprise underperformer with only two institutions in the top 20, albeit with both in the top five. However, Europe performs well in the Funding for Innovation Index with nine universities in the top 20 – Germany (2), Turkey (2), the Netherlands (2), Sweden (1), Belgium (1), and Switzerland (1), but it is closely followed by Asia with seven, four of which are in China.

The USA however does perform well as a country, with its universities securing $175,900 of investment per academic staff member – almost $20,000 less than Germany in first place with $195,800 per academic staff member. China is third with $172,100 per academic staff member, Korea fourth with $145,800 per academic staff member and the Netherlands is fifth with $125,600 per academic staff member.

The USA’s performance is in contrast to its position in THE’s Top 800 World University Rankings, where it boasted 63 universities in the top 200 and a total of 147 universities in the top 800, making it the country with the most universities in the ranking.

Phil Baty continued:

“This new ranking from Times Higher Education is very simple, but it is very powerful. We look at how successful each university is in attracting income from business and industry. It is a single, but crucial element of a university’s relationship with the business world: can it persuade business, in a highly competitive environment, to part with its money and invest in it?
“The data is drawn from the 13 performance indicators that make up the overall Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but we are keen to encourage the many millions of stakeholders who use the rankings to drill down beneath the overall composite scores, and examine our world class universities in more detail.”

Copyright Times Higher Education 2016

If any of this table is reproduced, you must credit Times Higher Education and link to the full results and analysis at

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For more information and interviews, please contact: Alex Hudaly, Annabel Banks or James Boyd-Wallis on +44 (0) 207 592 1200

About Times Higher Education magazine
Times Higher Education is the world’s most authoritative source of information about higher education. Designed specifically for professional people working in higher education and research, THE was founded in 1971 and has been online since 1995. It is published by TES Global.

Methodology key facts
The data for the THE Funding for Innovation ranking is extracted from the THE World University Rankings 2015-16. Data was collected from 1,128 universities from 88 countries during 2015. The data used to create this Funding for Innovation ranking was defined as “research income from industry and commerce” – all income for research received from industry or commercial organisations. It does not include public funding for universities.

For the country ranking, only countries with at least five universities in the database were included, and only the top five institutions from each country were included in the analysis.

The data relates to the 2013 academic year, is presented in US dollars, and is subject to Purchasing Power Parity normalisation.

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