International and domestic rankings of academics, academic departments, faculties, schools and colleges, institutions of higher learning, states, regions, and countries are of academic and practical interest and importance to students, parents, academics, and private and public institutions. International and domestic rankings are typically based on arbitrary methodologies and criteria. Evaluating how the rankings might be sensitive to different factors, as well as forecasting how they might change over time, requires a statistical analysis of the factors that affect the rankings. Accurate data on rankings and the associated factors are essential for a valid statistical analysis. In this respect, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings represent one of the three leading and most influential annual sources of international university rankings. Using recently released data for a single country, namely Japan, the paper evaluates the effects of size (specifically, the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) students, or FTE (Size)) and internationalization (specifically, the percentage of international students, or IntStud) on academic rankings using THE data for 2017 and 2018 on 258 national, public (that is, prefectural or city), and private universities. The results show that both size and internationalization are statistically significant in explaining rankings for all universities, as well as separately for private and non-private (that is, national and public) universities, in Japan for 2017 and 2018.

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Keywords international and domestic rankings, size, internationalization, national, public and private universities, changes over time
JEL Methodological Issues; General (jel C18), Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data (jel C81), Higher Education Research Institutions (jel I23), Data: Tables and Charts (jel Y1)
Persistent URL
McAleer, M.J, Nakamura, T, & Watkins, C. (2019). Size, Internationalization and University Rankings: Evaluating and Predicting Times Higer Education (THE) Data for Japan. Retrieved from