Wednesday, 25 July 2018

World rankings of Mineral and Mining Universities: here we go again!

You may remember that back in March I brought to your attention the 2018 QS Rankings of Mineral and Mining Engineering Universities, congratulating the Colorado School of Mines on their number 1 ranking for the 3rd year running.
This month the alternative listing, the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Mining & Mineral Engineering Universities has been published, and as always, there are glaring inconsistencies between the two systems.
Top 10 ShanghaiRanking
Perhaps not surprisingly five Chinese universities appear in the top 10 in the SR list, but none in the QS list. The Colorado School of Mines, so highly regarded by QS, is not even in the top 50 of the SR listings.
Of the top 10 in each list, only the University of Queensland (#1 in SR and #10 in QS), the University of Western Australia, the University of New South Wales, and McGill University, appear in both lists.
I will not comment further. I am sure that some of you will wish to do so!


  1. Being a Alumnus Of U.Q. I am naturally happy and proud.
    Barry, you said enough in your inimitable style--I wish we know the methodology adopted also.

  2. As a mineral processing engineer from China, I do feel embarrassed by the Shanghai Ranking. Nanjing University does not even produce mining and mineral processing engineers and somehow is on the list. This is turning into a joke.
    Wei Huang, Sustainable Minerals Institute, UQ, Australia

  3. Now all is in the open.
    I feel that just as we talk about "impact factor" for technical excellence, one has to think of "impact factor based on impact on industry".

  4. A related aspect is that fewer and fewer of the engineers working as mineral processing engineers across many western countries are actually graduates of programs teaching mineral processing. The small numbers of graduates and larger numbers and availability of graduates from other programs are partial explanations. So, what significance should be given this aspect of rankings?
    Robert Seitz, Phoenix, AZ, USA

  5. Though I agree with Robert, some ranking might motivate to excel. But as Robert rightly said, mineral engineering is most misunderstood; chemists/physicists/mathematicians apart from other engineering disciplines are working in Universities in this area and each of them have been looking at relevant research from their narrow prisms--most of it away from what is a total picture and aspects of expertise required to move from" mine to metal"
    That is creating more confusion than leading to better understanding and contribution to industry.
    We need basic degree level courses in Mineral Engineering as Indian School of Mines,India, has with about 300 students at graduate level(I am not sure of exact number as of now.
    I hope that Barry's Blog and observations help and guide Teaching and R&D Institutes to have a re look at the unique nature on Mineral Engineering and take necessary steps.

  6. I have a problem with the Shanghai ranking for the field of Minerals/ Metallurgical & Mining Engineering. As Wei Huang mentioned above, many of these universities do not offer degrees in these subject fields, which is truly ridiculous.
    Kudos to UQ, they’re a strong university in this area, but I can’t say that many in the top 20 are inspiring world leaders when it comes to how their graduates or mining and metallurgy research are viewed by employers or other academic institutions. At least QS rankings is totally transparent and takes into account Academic and Employer standing, h-factor and citations. All the QS top 50 institutions in the Top 50 for the field of Mining And Minerals are actually known for their teaching and research in those areas.
    Jacques Eksteen
    Curtin University

  7. If this were not so symptomatically important to the future of the industry I would laugh. Instead, as a mineral processing engineer of more than thirty years, I cry. Rankings are now so divorced from reality as to be, I hesitate to say meaningless (given the historical standing of a few on the list) but mostly meaningless. And if we cannot even measure ranking, then tracking it over time is also a meaningless exercise. Past performance is NOT always a good indicator of future performance. T.C. Rao is right: It is about current impact, and this has as much to do with industry outcomes as academic ones.

    I am calling for a return from ranking to accreditation. Globally, what does a Bachelor, Master and PhD actually mean? What impact does a new proprietary invention to an equipment manufacturer have compared to a paper about fine particulate flow published in a Journal?

    What we need is the institutes of engineers in our fields to get together and lift their game and give us a list of universities accredited by an open standard to teach and research to some minimum industry accepted standard. Once global accreditation has been achieved, rankings can follow. We do a great disservice to engineers who now travel globally to have their training questioned where-ever they go. Or worse, NOT questioned, because they have a degree from a small "list"

    Else industry will go their own way and in my view often have. In my lifetime I have seen most innovation devolve from university, to multi-national company, to equipment manufacturers. Everybody WANTS to innovate, but nobody actually wants to PAY to innovate. We have a real problem here, and these rankings are a symptom of the disarray with which we approach the systematic global governance of the mining industry. It is time to return to a co-operative globally collaborative study of mining and mineral processing that we almost had in the late 1980's. Before we all ran off and did our own thing.

  8. I am extremely happy to read the above comments,particularly those of Jeltz; he called a spade a spade-- we all have been trying to be nice to each other and this contest, Barry's has been goading us to look at ourselves and realize the gaps in education and research.
    Barry, keep putting some hard facts on the TABLE and I am sure things will change.
    Let me also add, though some may not like it, that equipment and reagent manufacturers
    contributed a lot over the last twenty years to the innovation and growth of mineral industry and we must compliment them for their service and support to academic activities and techbical Seminars.


If you have difficulty posting a comment, please email the comment, and any photos that you might like to add, to and I will submit on your behalf