As part of each membership year, the World 100 conducts one large industry-related research project. An overview of current and previous research projects can be found below; including some key findings.

Members of the Network have access to the detailed findings of research projects for each year of membership and summaries of previous research. For the 2020/21 membership year only, all members will have access to the entire back catalogue of research.  These can be accessed via the member dashboard or the news and resources page.

If you are a W100 member but can’t access the research, please contact

If you are interested in getting more detail on research, individual reports can be purchased ad-hoc. Please contact for more information.

Research Library

Taking the Temperature of COVID-19

Protected: COVID-19: Taking the Temperature of the Crisis

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2020/21 research project

The Reputation Opportunity: 2020/21

The pandemic has highlighted the role of universities and academic research as a key contributor to society as never before. But have institutions been able to gain a reputation advantage from…

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International Tracker_Research

International Reputation Tracker

The Pilot YearThe 2019/20 membership year was the Year 0 pilot year for the International Reputation Tracker. All members were invited to take part in the Tracker as the main annual research project…

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resources and structures

Resources and Structures 2020

University communications, marketing, and international teams have been at the forefront of their institutions’ responses to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.  But do you feel that…

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Taking the Temperature of COVID-19

COVID-19: Taking the Temperature of the Crisis

COVID-19 has tested every university in ways that would have been unimaginable at the end of 2019. This has been the ultimate reputation test, and the World 100 Reputation Network was keen to chart…

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Riding the Tiger: Enhancings the role of reputation in International Partnerships research project

Riding the Tiger: 2018/19

International partnerships between universities have traditionally been forged around student mobility, research collaborations, networks, and recruitment progression routes, which are determined by…

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brand snapshot research

Brand Snapshot: 2017/18

Our 2017/18 research project, Brand Snapshot, 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…

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The Ranking Influencers: How academics and employers determine the best universities

The Ranking Influencers: 2016/17

Academics and universities know that data matters when it comes to world university rankings. As a result, tremendous effort goes into getting research in the right journals and maximizing citations.…

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The Digital Approach Research

The Digital Approach: 2017/18

Digital communications is essential for all global organizations but critical for those aimed at young people. In addition to our annual research project for W100 members, the World 100 set out to…

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The R-Word 2015/16: Research communications at world-class universities

The R-Word: 2015/16

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. For our World…

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Reputation Management 2014/15: Priorities, structures and resources in world-class universities

Reputation Management: 2014/15

The 2014/15 annual research project returns to the topic of resources and structures for reputation management in the world’s best universities. We first visited this topic in the early days of the…

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PHD Choice Factors Research Project 2013/2014

PhD Choice Factors: 2013/14

The project set out to consider the extent to which international PhD students valued reputation, and how reputation figured in their destinational choice for a PhD, with a particular desire to…

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Choice Factors in Academic Job Change Research 2011/12

Choice Factors in International Academic Job Change: 2011/12

The 2011/12 annual research project set out to investigate the most important factors in international academic job change and the role of reputation in this process. Academics move to join a…

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Internal communications and staff engagement in world-class universities 2010/11

Internal Communications and Staff Engagement in World-class Universities: 2010/11

The World 100 worked with four UK universities (Bristol, Leicester, Oxford Brookes and Edge Hill) on a project funded by the British Government’s Higher Education Funding Council to develop best…

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Rise and Fall: 2009/10

The second survey-based research project conducted by the World 100, this research project looks at the relationship between changes in rankings and reputation as a whole. It aimed to examine to what…

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