US retains top spots in Global Universities Rankings

Now in its fifth year, the USN rankings evaluated 1,250 schools across 75 countries to provide a comprehensive assessment of research universities around the world.

“Schools that prioritise quality academic research remain at the top of the rankings”

The top four schools were revealed to be in the US with Harvard University leading, followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University at second and third place respectively.

The University of California–Berkeley took the fourth spot, and the UK’s University of Oxford finished out the top five.

With 227 schools ranked, the US had the most institutions on the overall list of 1,250 schools, followed by China (130), the UK (78), Japan (67) and Germany (62).

Despite a large number of Chinese schools featuring on the list, it was institutions in Singapore – the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University – that took first and second place respectively in the Asia rankings, with China’s  Tsinghua University rounding out the top three.

The University of Cape Town leads the Africa rankings, with two other South African institutions, University of Witwatersrand and University of KwaZulu Natal in second and third position.

In the Australia and New Zealand rankings, the University of Melbourne took first place, while The University of Oxford remains at the top in Europe, and the Universidade de São Paulo is number one in the Latin America rankings.

In almost every subject ranking, the US had the highest proportion of ranked institutions, with the exception of the materials science ranking where China claimed the biggest share of schools at 20.3%

However, non-U.S. schools took the top spot in seven fields: agricultural sciences, arts and humanities, computer science, engineering, materials science, mathematics and plant and animal science.

“Prospective students are looking beyond universities in their country”

“When we first started publishing Best Global Universities, the rankings evaluated 500 schools in 11 countries,” said Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News. “Since then, we’ve added 750 schools and have expanded to 75 nations.

“One thing has remained the same: Schools that prioritise quality academic research remain at the top of the rankings.”

“Higher education continues to be more global, meaning that prospective students are looking beyond universities in their country when thinking about where to enrol,” added Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News.

“The Best Global Universities rankings offer students the resources to begin their search, whether they’re interested in a specific part of the world or subject for study.”

Overall Best Global Universities

1. Harvard University (US) 
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) 
3. Stanford University (US) 
4. University of California—Berkeley(US) 
5. University of Oxford (UK) 
6. California Institute of Technology (US) 
7. University of Cambridge (UK) 
8. Columbia University (US) 
9. Princeton University (US) 
10. University of Washington (US)

Africa – Top three 

1. University of Cape Town (South Africa) 
2. University of Witwatersrand (South Africa) 
3. University of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa)

Asia – Top three

1. National University of Singapore 
2. Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) 
3. Tsinghua University (China)

Australia/New Zealand – Top three 
1. University of Melbourne (Australia) 
2. University of Sydney 
3. University of Queensland (Australia)

Europe – Top three 

1. University of Oxford (UK) 
2. University of Cambridge (UK) 
3. Imperial College London (UK)

Latin America – Top three 

1. Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil) 
2. Pontificia University Católica de Chile 
3. State University of Campinas (Brazil)

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