Not all universities are created equal, therefore some students wish to look internationally to find the best tertiary education to suit their needs


Frequently, many students dream of obtaining a degree from one of the many top universities from across the world. Consequently, parents and students wishing to get the best education will scour official university world rankings before sending in their applications.


Ranking systems and weight

Naturally, there are different measures for ranking universities across the world. Primarily, the top three ranking systems used include The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).



The ARWU methodology applies 40% weight to the quality of faculty, including its research output. Next, they implement a further 10% weight to the quality of education and per capita performance.

QS World University Rankings are published annually by Quacquarelli Symonds. QS rankings give 40% weight to academic peer reviews. Additionally, citations and faculty to student ratio get 20% weight each. Next, employer reputation earns 10% weight while international staff to student ratio gets 5% weight.

The Times Higher Education (THE) magazine annually publishes the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Primarily, citations and research reputation get the maximum ratings in this ranking system.

Consequently, here are fifteen universities that have consistently earned top spots in different ranking systems.


1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT has consistently earned a top ranking according to the QS World Ranking, the ARWU, and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Primarily, the core strength of MIT is in engineering, physical sciences, research, and education.

Additionally, students flock to MIT to earn a degree in subjects like sciences, architecture, business, mathematics, and economics.


2. University of Oxford

Located in the city of Oxford in the UK, this university gets the top spot according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Incredibly, the University has 44 colleges, and 100 libraries – which is more libraries than any other university has in the UK.

Predominantly, this research-driven university is well-known for its degree programs in medical sciences. However, it also has received top rankings for other subjects such as physical sciences, life sciences, arts, social sciences, and humanities.


3. Stanford University

With a student to staff ratio of 7.5, Stanford University has the biggest campus in the US. Furthermore, valuable contributions from this research-oriented university include the first successful heart-lung transplant, digital music, and invention of the computer mouse.

Predominantly, degree programs in medicine, life sciences, arts, engineering and natural sciences taught at Stanford have received top rankings across the world.


4. Harvard University

Harvard gets the third spot in QS World rankings and is sixth according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking. Furthermore, the sprawling campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts includes twelve schools. Additionally, Harvard contains many museums, theatres, and claims the largest library in the world.


5. Caltech

Third in Times Higher Education ranking, and fourth as per QS World rankings, California Institute of Technology is well known for degree programs in multiple subjects. Predominantly, these include engineering, computer science, business, social sciences, and the arts.

Consequently, Caltech had consistently earned the top spot in all world rankings between 2012 to 2016. Additionally, their student to teacher ratio is 3:1.


6. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge offers elite education through six schools. Disciplines include clinical medicine, biological sciences, humanities, and technology. Additionally, Cambridge has received top rankings for innovation, research, and teaching.


7. University College of London

Located in the heart of London, University College offers the advantages of a big city life combined with a cosmopolitan learning atmosphere. Primarily, interdisciplinary studies and research activities are the highlights of UCL.


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