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Sejong University Ranked First in Korea in the ‘2023 Leiden Ranking’

2023.06.30 2935

Sejong University has achieved a milestone by ranking 1st in Korea for the first time in the ‘2023 Leiden Ranking’, a global university ranking system that assesses universities based on the quality of their research papers.


The Leiden Ranking, administered by Leiden University in the Netherlands, focuses solely on the impact factor of research papers. Unlike traditional world university rankings that consider external factors like reputation and university size, the Leiden Ranking provides an objective evaluation of a university's research prowess by considering only the impact factor of its research publications.


The 2023 Leiden Ranking evaluated universities that have published more than 800 international papers every year over the past four years, and analyzed 1,411 universities around the world. 



The ranking is determined by the percentage of papers in the top 10% of the impact factor among all papers published by each university.


After ranking 3rd in 2020 and advancing to 2nd in 2021 and 2022, Sejong University ranked 1st this year. In the world rankings, it ranked 316th, up 78 places from last year. Notably, Sejong University's global ranking has seen continuous improvement for four consecutive years, starting from 592nd in 2020, progressing to 473rd in 2021, and further ascending to 394th in 2022.   In the Asian rankings, Sejong rose five places from 44th last year to 39th, maintaining its status as one of Asia's top 50 universities for two consecutive years.


The total number of papers published by Sejong University was 6,568, of which 930 were in the top 10%. The percentage has increased to 14.2%, which is a noteworthy improvement of 0.8 percentage points from the 13.4% recorded in the previous year. Also, the total number of papers is 4,426 in 2021 and 5,436 in 2022, demonstrating improvement in both the quantity and quality of research publications.


In this evaluation, Sejong University ranked first in Korea in two of the five detailed fields included in the comprehensive rankings: ▲Life Science/Earth Science ▲Social Science/Humanities. 


It ranked first in Korea in the fields of life science/earth science for three consecutive years. Sejong University is ranked 64th in the world rankings, up 60 places from last year, and 9th in the Asian rankings, up 1 place from last year, continuing its upward trend every year. Out of the 984 papers evaluated, an impressive 197 of them demonstrated their status as top 10% Highly Cited Research (HCR) papers, resulting in a remarkable HCR rate of 20%. Notably, among domestic universities, Sejong University stands as the sole institution to have achieved an HCR rate exceeding 20% across all fields.


The College of Life Science and Earth Science hires excellent professors and operates specialized research institutes to actively conduct cutting-edge research and projects within their respective fields. Major research institutes include the Life Science Research Institute, the Plant Engineering Research Institute, and the Earth Information Research Institute. The College of Life Science and Earth Science also built a robust educational infrastructure that emphasizes hands-on experimentation and practical experience and initiated industry-academia-research cooperation programs to continuously produce practical and professional researchers.


The fields of social science/humanities ranked first in Korea for six consecutive years, ranking 305th in the world and 75th in Asia. Among the 554 papers, 70 papers were in the top 10% of HCR category, recording a percentage of 12.6%. For four consecutive years, Sejong University has consistently maintained the top spot in Korea when it comes to research papers within the top 1% of Highly Cited Researchers (HCR), testifying to the university's impressive social sciences and humanities research capabilities.


The College of Social Science and Humanities consistently achieves incredible research results by continuously hiring professors in the fields of big data and brain cognition. The college utilizes cutting-edge theories, advanced research methodologies, and an extensive network of international collaborations within each field to develop its research. It also achieved the feat of ranking first in Korea for six consecutive years through the systematic operation of programs that encourage convergence research with various academic fields.


Sejong University also ranked first in Korea in the proportion of international joint papers, as confirmed by the Leiden Ranking, for four consecutive years since 2020.  In four specific fields, it ranked first: ▲Life Science/Earth Science ▲Social Science/Humanities ▲Biomedicine/Health Science ▲Natural Science/Engineering.


The percentage of joint international papers is closely tied to the level of internationalization achieved by universities. Internationalization extends beyond having a large number of foreign professors and students. Joint international papers is an important factor that leads to improvement of a university's reputation and attraction of excellent foreign students.


Sejong University has adopted a rigorous evaluation process for recruiting exceptional faculty members, taking into account their thesis accomplishments and research projects. Moreover, in pursuit of not only quantitative growth but also qualitative improvement of research publications, the university has consistently strengthened its support, with a particular focus on papers published in top academic journals. These efforts, initiated in 2013, have borne fruit, culminating in the university's remarkable achievement of securing the top position in Korea in the Leiden Ranking.


On the other hand, Sejong University is strengthening its support to become a world-leading university by supporting international joint research, strengthening coding, big data, and AI education, and securing excellent faculty specializing in future-oriented strategies. Celebrating its 83rd anniversary this year, Sejong University also aims to be one of the world's top 100 universities by 2030.

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