What Universities Are Highly Globally Ranked?


Quick Answer

Among the four global university ranking systems, six schools appear in the top 10 of all lists. Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University are the top U.S. universities, with the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge standing as the top U.K. universities.

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Full Answer

The London Times, U.S. News and World Report, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and British consulting firm Quacquarelli Symonds rank universities worldwide each year. The Times also includes lists for specific fields of study, such as arts and humanities, social sciences, and engineering and technology. The same schools score highly within these specialized rankings. The Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, which is the oldest ranking, started in 2003.

The top 10 schools are all in the United States or United Kingdom. Schools outside of those areas appear starting at rank 12, with the Times giving that spot to the University of Tokyo, and the QS giving it to ETH Zurich; U.S. News shows the University of Toronto ranked at 14 and ETH Zurich at 20.

Factors such as reputation, number of research citations of university scholars and ratio of staff to students count towards a school's rank. Schools also gain rank from international breadth of staff and students. The Times ranking additionally considers total university income. The same schools appear on all lists because these criteria favor well-funded, research-intensive schools.

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