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Top 20 Best Universities in the World

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If you want to pursue higher studies at one of the world’s best universities then we have compiled a list of the top 20 universities around the world as per the QS World University Rankings.

QS World University Rankings released their 2022 list of the top 1,029 universities across the world. There are six key metrics namely Academic peer review, Faculty/student ratio, Citations per faculty, Employer reputation, International student ratio, International staff ratio that were used for the assessment of each institution.

List of the World’s Top 20 Best Universities

Below is the complete rundown of the Top 20 Universities in the World along with their overall score. Check out!

Rank   University   Location  Overall Score
1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States 100
2 University of Oxford United Kingdom 99.5
=3 Stanford University United States 98.7
=3 University of Cambridge United Kingdom 98.7
5 Harvard University United States 98
6 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) United States 97.4
7 Imperial College London United Kingdom 97.3
=8 ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Switzerland 95.4
=8 UCL (University College London) United Kingdom 95.4
10 University of Chicago United States 94.5
11 National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore 93.9
12 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) Singapore 90.8
13 University of Pennsylvania United States 90.7
=14 Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Switzerland 90.2
=14 Yale University United States 90.2
16 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom 89.9
17 Tsinghua University Mainland China 89
18 Peking University Mainland China 88.8
19 Columbia University United States 88.7
20 Princeton University United States 88.6

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the world’s top university as of 2022 which is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT was established in the year 1861, which played a critical role in the progress of modern technology and science.

MIT has maintained its leadership position as the top academic institution in the world for many years. MIT has 98 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists as of December 2021 who are affiliated either as alumni, faculty members, or researchers.

The academic institute has a strong entrepreneurial culture which is one of the many reasons why many notable company founders/co-founders are alumni of MIT.

2. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford ranks second in our list of the world’s top 20 universities which is located in Oxford, England. It is one of the world’s oldest universities which started teaching as early as 1096. It is the second-oldest university in the world that is in continuous operation.

Oxford is made up of 39 semi-autonomous constituent colleges, six permanent private halls, and different academic departments. Each college within the university is a self-governing academic institution with its own respective internal structure and activities. There is no dedicated campus as its buildings and facilities are spread across the city center.

3. Stanford University

Stanford University officially called Leland Stanford Junior University is the world’s third-best university located in the census-designated place of Stanford, California.

The campus of Stanford is huge and is spread across 8,180 acres making it one of the largest in the United States. Stanford enrolls approximately 2100 students each year.

Leland and Jane Stanford founded this university in 1885 in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who passed away at the age of 15 due to typhoid fever.

4. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge ranks fourth in our list of the world’s top 20 universities located in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

It was founded in the year 1209 and is the second-oldest university after Oxford.  Cambridge has 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and more than 150 academic departments.

5. Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard University is an Ivy League research university that ranks fifth in our list of top 20 universities in the world.

It was founded in the year 1636 as Harvard College named after the Puritan clergyman John Harvard. It is America’s oldest academic institution for higher studies and is considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

6. The California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is the sixth-best university in the world which is a US-based private research university in Pasadena, California.

The university’s core area of expertise is in science and engineering, and it is dedicated to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.

7. Imperial College London

Imperial College London known officially as the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine ranks sixth in the list of top 20 universities in the world.

The college’s primary focus is in the area of science, technology, medicine, and business. The main campus of the university is located in South Kensington.

8. ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is the eighth-best university in the world located in the city of Zürich, Switzerland.

It was founded by the Swiss Federal Government in the year 1854 with the objective to educate engineers and scientists. ETH’s primary focus is on the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

9. University College London

University College London (UCL) is the ninth-best university in the world which is a major public research university based out of London, United Kingdom.

UCL is a member institution of the federal University of London. It ranks second in terms of total enrolment in the UK and number one in terms of postgraduate enrolment.

10. The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago ranks tenth in our list of the world’s top 20 universities based out of Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in the year 1890.

The University of Chicago has eight professional schools and the staff includes 94 Nobel laureates which is one of the highest in the world.

11. National University of Singapore (NUS)

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is the eleventh top university in the world located in Queenstown, Singapore.

It was founded in the year 1905.  It plays a pivotal role in the development of cutting-edge technology and science by offering a global approach to education and research.

12. Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is in 12th place in our list of top 20 universities located in Singapore. It is Singapore’s second oldest autonomous university and also features in the top universities in the world as per different international metrics.

NTU is ranked first among the young universities as per a survey done by the QS World University Rankings from 2015 to 2021.

13. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is the 13th best university in the world located in Pennsylvania. The university was established in the year 1740 as the College of Philadelphia.

The university has four undergraduate schools and 12 graduate and professional schools.  Penn’s unique “One University Policy” allows attending classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools.

14. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is 14th best university in the world located in Lausanne, Switzerland. The core expertise of this university is in the field of natural sciences and engineering.

EPFL is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology.  The university has three objectives namely education, research, and innovation.

15. Yale University

Yale University is one of the oldest private Ivy League research institutions which ranks in 15th place on our list. It was founded more than 3 centuries ago in 1701 as the Collegiate School.

16. The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is a public research university located in Edinburgh, Scotland. King James VI granted a royal charter in the year 1582 and later opened officially in 1583.

Edinburgh gets more than 60,000 undergraduate applications every year which makes it the second-most popular university in the UK.

17. Tsinghua University

Beijing-based Tsinghua University is the 17th best university in the world and a member of the C9 League. Ever since it was founded more than a century ago in 1911, the university has produced several notable leaders in the field of science, engineering, politics, business, academia, and culture.

Tsinghua University offers 51 bachelor’s degree programs, 139 master’s degree programs, and 107 doctoral programs covering a broad range of subjects.

18. Peking University

Peking University is referred to as Beida informally and it is a major research university in Beijing, China. It is ranked at 18th position in the list of top 20 universities in the world.

Peking University’s library is considered to be one of the largest libraries in the world, with more than 8 million volumes.

19. Columbia University

Columbia University is a private Ivy League institution located in New York City. It was established in the year 1754 as King’s College in Manhattan, Columbia.

Columbia is New York’s oldest institution in the city of New York and America’s fifth-oldest institution. Columbia takes the nineteenth spot in our list of top 20 universities.

20. Princeton University

Princeton University ranks at 20th position in the list of top 20 universities based out of New Jersey, USA. It was founded in the year 1746 and it is the fourth-oldest American institution of higher education.

Princeton offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the field of humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. The campus is home to an estimated 8,500 students spread over an area of 600 acres.

Hope you found our article informative. Do not forget to bookmark this space for more such articles from us!

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