Our department ranked at the 39th place at the the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS) 2017 – Geography. ShanghaiRanking began to publish Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) by academic subjects since 2009. This release contains rankings of universities in 52 subjects across natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences, and social sciences. In total, more than 4000 universities were ranked.
ARWU uses six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Reuters, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance of a university. More than 1200 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 are published.
Although the initial purpose of ARWU was to find the global standing of top Chinese universities, it has attracted a great deal of attention from universities, governments and public media worldwide. A survey on higher education published by The Economist in 2005 commented ARWU as "the most widely used annual ranking of the world's research universities".