The first global ranking of World Universities with Real Impact – WURI was published two years ago (2020). Further rankings followed on an annual basis in 2021 and 2022. In 2020 the ranking included 100 universities. A year later there were already 320 universities and this year, 420 universities from around the world were included in the global ranking.

Franklin University Switzerland was invited to submit projects for the ranking at the very beginning. It gladly did so, because any outside view of what Franklin considers as one of its prime programs or projects of higher education and innovation would provide an extremely welcome input.

In 2020, the WURI Ranking offered 4 Categories – “Industrial Application”, “Entrepreneurial Spirit”, “Ethical Value”, “Student Mobility and Openness” – and Franklin decided to submit 3 projects. It being the first time ever that Franklin had been included in a global university ranking, the fact that it was ranked 56th among the Top 100 Universities was quite impressive, especially because it included being ranked #9 and #28 in 2 of the 4 categories.

For the 2021 WURI Ranking, a new category – “Crisis Management” – was added to the 4 existing ones, due to the global pandemic. Encouraged by the 2020 results, Franklin decided to submit again. The expectation of the President of Franklin University Switzerland was that the overall ranking should be even better than in the year before. 5 new project entries were prepared, submitted and resulted in the remarkable WURI Ranking 41. Looking at the 5 categories, Franklin was ranked #4, #5 and #22 in 3 of them.

Having set the bar pretty high, it was not clear if Franklin would be able to match the 2021 WURI Ranking this year. Again, one more category – “4th Industrial Revolution” – was added to the 5 of 2021.

After several discussions with the President of Franklin and some colleagues, 6 ongoing or planned projects with the following titles were chosen for 2022:

  1. The Sustainable Cities Program,
  2. Green Office - The Grancia Shopping Mall Project,
  3. The Speakers Corner Workshop,
  4. New Building Technologies and Experiential Learning,
  5. The Potentino Exploration Project,
  6. The Lugano Dance Project.

The author then contacted faculty, students and staff at Franklin who are in charge of the 6 projects and invited them to provide the essential information, which would allow to formulate a suitable text and complete the 6 templates provided by the organizers of the WURI Ranking.

The support was incredible. The rich and innovative content, which the author received, from the Franklin Community made it possible to formulate the needed texts for the templates in a creative way and submit the entries in due time.

When the WURI Ranking 2022 was presented by Professor Hwy-chang Moon to more than 200 participants at the online-conference in Seoul a couple weeks ago, Franklin’s faculty, students and staff had truly reason to be proud of the overall Ranking: Position 33 among 420 participating universities worldwide!

Another highlight of 2022 are Franklin’s rankings in 3 of the 6 categories:

  • Category “Ethical Value” – the project was second-best ( #2 ) with only one university in front.
  • Category “Crisis Management”– Franklin maintained its excellent position of the previous year ( #4 )
  • Category “Industrial Application”– Franklin was ranked #17, up 5 ranks from the previous year and up 11 ranks compared to 2020.

Prof. Moon even included Franklin’s “Ethical Value” Project in his online presentation at the Global WURI Conference on June 9, 2022.

That the ranking would go up from year to year is by no means a given. Looking at Ivy League universities like Yale (rankings 33, 38, 41) or Columbia University (rankings 25, 23, 27) helps to appreciate Franklin’s rankings even more and shows that they do fluctuate over the 3-year period and for some has gone down. The competition is definitely intensifying as the number of participating universities is going up from year to year.

It is fact that the competition among universities for the best faculty and students is fierce and taking place on a global scale. Especially small academic institutions like Franklin, with students from as many as 60 countries can only prosper in a globalized world with singular and unique programs and a very high visibility. Independent Academic rankings, like WURI, are therefore becoming an important source of information for people interested in higher education and potential enrollment and are an excellent opportunity for a university to be seen and gain recognition and respect. Franklin with its impressive rankings during the first 3 years will certainly do well to continue in its reflections by thinking about tentative projects it could submit in 2023 and try to maintain its present position in the ranking.

Written by Christoph von Arb, Executive Vice President for Strategic Development and International Outreach