Research at The World 100

Research focusing on international reputation is one of the main objectives for the World 100 Reputation Network. Research informs practice, explains budgetary decisions, progresses strategy, and enables reputation managers to excel in their jobs. That is why our research projects are much valued by members and are at the heart of what we do.

Reputation is fast-moving, and universities are constantly forced to evaluate their actions, friends, and audiences. The Network engages in at least one annual research project that pushes forward the boundaries of knowledge around reputation and helps those in charge of their university’s image to understand it, and better amplify it.

Members have full access to all previous research for the 2020/2021 membership year.

Of International PhD Students chose their university based on the attractiveness of the country

Of Australians prefer the Shanghai Ranking (now Academic Ranking of World Universities)

Of universities seek an international partnership with a similar ranking university to themselves

Of universities saw their communications budget restricted at the start of the pandemic

"You can't find that research in other places and so the projects that have been done over the past few years and the ones that are coming up, we do get some really valuable information that I can then share with colleagues in different parts of the university to help them with their work."

Andrea Farquhar, McMaster University

Reputation Tracking

National Tracker

National Tracker

The World 100 National Tracker tracks the reputation of UK universities. The tracker allows all the universities to be measured against one another on key drivers of reputation. Separate surveys are conducted with critical audiences, such as businesses, staff, students, prospects, opinion formers, agents, parents, teachers etc.

Directors can use the report data to brief their own teams or senior management and have a genuine understanding of how their reputation compares with close competitors across critical audiences.


International Tracker

Stemming from the UK Tracker’s success, we have also introduced the World 100 International Reputation Tracker – a reputation tracking tool surveying key stakeholder audiences, allowing World 100 members to benchmark themselves against each other.

The International Reputation Tracker pilot carried out during 2019/20 included five audiences for primary research (current students, staff, alumni, international agents and prospective international students) and a range of secondary metrics.

International Tracker_Research

World 100 Research Snapshot

Structures and Resources 2020

The World 100 is undertaking a survey to uncover what is being spent on reputation, and how the activities are structured.This will be the third installment of this survey to help us analyze change over time.

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Taking the Temperature of COVID-19

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we launched our longitudinal survey which asked W100 members and other world-leading universities 10 questions to monitor how they are feeling about the crisis, which area is most heated, and how their response is changing.

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International Tracker

The W100 International Tracker pilot is the member research project for 2019/2020. It stems from the success of the UK tracker and will allow us to draw the same insights but on a global scale. By running the research as a pilot we can go on to make improvements to make the data more robust.

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Riding the Tiger: Enhancing the Role of Reputation in International Partnerships

In 2018/2019 we examined the role that reputation plays in international partnerships. Members were asked about their institution's partnerships and what factors they considered when selecting partnership institutions and what systems they had in place for managing them.

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Brand Snapshot

Our 2017/18 research project reviewed the online brand profile of the best universities in the world - the top 50 in the world in all four main global rankings, plus W100 members and nominated peers. Each university was assessed by two independent analysts on key brand attributes between January and June 2018.

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The R-Word: Communicating research at world-class universities

Strategies for impactful research communications was the focus of our 2015/16 W100 research project. Excellent universities are defined by excellent research, and one of the main skills of those who direct reputation is to make this research accessible, and as widely read as possible.

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Become a Member

The World 100 Reputation Network is a group of the best universities in the world, delivering research that enhances reputation and offering leaders the chance to develop their own careers on a global stage. Members benefit from events and study tours, training, monthly media monitoring, and unique reputation research to provide institutional advantage.

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