All you need to know about The Times Higher Education Latin America University Ranking 2022

What is the Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings? How is the list compiled? And how can you use the ranking to find your dream master’s program? All of these questions answered and more in this article!

In short

The Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings 2022

These are the top 10 universities in Latin America according to the Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings 2022:

  1. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  2. University of São Paulo
  3. University of Campinas
  4. Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
  5. Monterrey Institute of Technology
  6. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
  7. University of Chile
  8. Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  9. Federal University of Minas Gerais
  10. Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)


In the next couple of sections, we’re going to learn some more about the Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings, and what methodology they use to arrive at their final list. If you would prefer to read our expert analysis and insider info about the 2022 list, scroll down to the bottom of the article instead.

What is the Times Higher Education World University Rankings?

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is one of the most widely-read and widely-respected university rankings in the world. Originally launched in 2004 in partnership with QS, it has been published independently by Times Higher Education since 2010. The 2022 ranking includes more than 1,600 universities from 99 different countries. 

To learn a little more about a university’s thoughts on the THE ranking, we spoke to Marcos Singer. Marcos is the director of MBA programs at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC), which has been the top-ranked Latin American institution for four years in a row. He started by cautioning that although rankings are important to them, it’s not the be-all and end-all for universities.

“We’re very happy with the rankings, and it’s not actually the only one that ranks us number one – the other is the QS ranking,” he says. “We don’t take them too seriously, but it’s still a nice bonus. The most important thing for us is really how students feel; how much they learn, how much they can interact with the university.” (06:18)

If a top-ranked university takes a cautious approach to the value of rankings then so should students. While rankings can be a useful starting point for your search for a master’s program, they certainly shouldn’t be the only factor you use to choose. Instead, it’s worth learning how each ranking arrives at their final list – so you can decide which one is most aligned with your own values, priorities and objectives.

Here’s how Times Higher Education compiles its ranking.

What are the criteria of the Times Higher Education Ranking?

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings uses 13 performance indicators grouped into five areas to assess each school. Those indicators are as follows.

Teaching (30%)

The teaching indicator is split into five sub-groups: 

  • Reputation survey (15%)
  • Staff-to-student ratio (4.5%)
  • Doctorate-to-bachelor’s ratio (2.25%)
  • Doctorates-awarded-to-academic-staff ratio (6%)
  • Institutional income (2.25%)

One of the most important indicators in the entire ranking is the Times Academic Reputation Survey. This annual survey is sent out to academics around the world, who are asked to name the top 15 universities in their field of study.

While this is an easy way to assess the higher education landscape around the world, it’s also true that it’s quite a subjective way of judging universities. Opinion-based surveys are open to bias and there is no guarantee that scholars will have an extensive enough knowledge to know the merits of each school.

Research (30%)

The research category is split into three sub-groups:

  • Reputation survey (18%)
  • Research income (6%)
  • Research productivity (6%)

Reputation survey is the most important indicator in the THE ranking, and comes from the same Times Academic Reputation Survey used in the teaching section. Instead, this indicator asks academics to rate the research quality of universities.

The other two indicators in the research category assess the level of income institutions receive for research, as well as the level of published papers in quality journals. Both are adjusted depending on the size of the university, whilst the research income is also adjusted based on the purchasing-power-parity (PPP) of the university’s home country.

Citations (30%)

The Citations category looks at a university’s research influence. It does this by measuring how many times research carried out by a university is cited in other academic papers.

The data in this category is adjusted depending on the subject. This is to make sure that if a university carries out a lot of research in a subject that is traditionally research-intensive (e.g. science), then they don’t gain an unfair advantage over, for example, schools with a high proportion of arts and creative degrees.

International outlook (7.5%)

This section measures the international outlook of a school based on three different indicators:

  • Proportion of international students (2.5%)
  • Proportion of international staff (2.5%)
  • International collaboration (2.5%)


While the first two indicators here are fairly self-explanatory, the international collaboration one is a little different. It once again takes research into account by calculating the proportion of publications by a university that have at least one international co-author. The higher the proportion of international co-authors, the higher a school’s score in this indicator.

Industry income (2.5%)

The final group of indicators that the Times Higher Education Ranking uses to compile its list is industry income – otherwise known as “knowledge transfer.” The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile scored a perfect 100 in this category, so we asked Marcos for more information on how it’s assessed.

“The way you measure it is how the university impacts industry in general through applied research,” he explains. “Usually startups in all sorts of activities that have an impact and influence on economic development.” (02:38)

In other words, it measures a university’s ability to attract commercial income through research and investment. If more businesses are willing to pay a university to conduct research for them, that will reflect in this category.

Analysis of the Latin America University Rankings 2022

Although the Latin American list is dominated by Brazilian universities, Chile has two schools in the regional top 10, with UC sitting at the top of the tree again. Marcos explains how Chile holds its own against bigger countries in the region.

“Chile is an economic, technological, and financial hub for Latin America,” he says. “It’s a huge region with millions of inhabitants and a very interesting place to develop some of the industries that are most relevant to the world. So, I would say to come to Chile is to understand this ‘new world’ that has a number of opportunities.” (03:07)

It should be noted that all of the top 10 Latin American schools saw an increase in their overall score in 2022. While Asia is closer to breaking the Europe-North America hegemony at the top of global rankings such as this, it does suggest that higher education is gradually becoming more of a global game than ever before.

How to use the Times Higher Education Rankings to find your dream master’s

Rankings are an important part of anyone’s search for a master’s – and with good reason: they are a quick and generally effective way of letting you know how a school compares with its peers, both nationally and internationally. However, it’s important not to be overly reliant on the value of university rankings.

Certain rankings rely on some indicators more than others, which is why they tend to throw up such different results. For instance, the Times Higher Education Ranking places a lot of importance on the research output of universities. If this isn’t an important factor for you, it might be best not to place too much importance on the list yourself.

Instead, try to first think about what you want to achieve from your master’s. Think about your priority. Do you want an international experience? Do you want a salary boost? Do you want to grow your professional network? Then, try to find a university that will best help you achieve your main goals.

You can do this by looking through all of the master’s rankings and figuring out which one prioritizes the same things as you. That way, you’ll be one step closer to finding out the right master’s for you.

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