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The World's Best University Is Not in the US

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In a new ranking of the world’s best universities, U.K.-based Times Higher Education (THE) ranked 1,904 universities located in 108 countries. U.S. universities claimed 15 of the top 25 spots in the rankings, and U.K. universities accounted for four of them.  The U.K.’s University of Oxford topped the list, as it has for the past seven years.

Emphasizing Research

THE ranked the “research-intensive” schools in four areas it calls their “core missions”: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The research mission was divided into two parts: research environment and research quality. Those two areas and the teaching mission each accounted for around 30% of a university’s total score. (These are the 50 hardest colleges and universities to get into.)

Knowledge transfer, which includes patents awarded and research income derived from industry, accounted for 4% of the overall score, and a school’s international outlook accounted for 7.5% of the score. The following THE graphic gives the percentage breakdowns. The industry column is the knowledge transfer score. The full methodology is available here.

Rankings

Only two universities, both in the United Kingdom, received perfect scores for their research environment: Oxford and Cambridge. Five of the top 25 received perfect scores in the industry category. Four are U.S.-based, and the other is in Singapore: Stanford, MIT, CalTech, Johns Hopkins, and the National University of Singapore.

Here are the world’s 25 best universities.

Rank Name Overall Teaching Industry
1 University of Oxford, UK 98.5 96.6 98.7
2 Stanford University, USA 98.0 99.0 100.0
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA 97.9 98.6 100.0
4 Harvard University, USA 97.8 97.7 84.2
5 University of Cambridge, UK 97.5 95.8 87.9
6 Princeton University, USA 96.9 96.3 95.1
7 California Institute of Technology, USA 96.5 96.6 100.0
8 Imperial College London, UK 95.1 90.9 90.9
9 University of California, Berkeley, USA 94.6 87.2 99.4
10 Yale University, USA 94.2 94.0 86.5
11 ETH Zurich, Switzerland 93.1 87.6 82.9
12 Tsinghua University, China 92.4 95.3 99.9
13 The University of Chicago, USA 92.1 89.6 93.8
14 Peking University, China 91.8 95.6 98.8
15 Johns Hopkins University, USA 91.1 84.4 100.0
16 University of Pennsylvania, USA 91.0 87.7 97.7
17 Columbia University, USA 90.9 88.6 75.2
18 University of California, Los Angeles, USA 90.1 85.7 92.3
19 National University of Singapore, Singapore 90.0 78.8 100.0
20 Cornell University, USA 89.5 85.7 69.4
21 University of Toronto, Canada 88.6 77.5 96.1
22 University College London, UK 88.1 78.4 75.2
23 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, USA 87.4 84.7 80.7
24 Carnegie Mellon University, USA 86.3 75.0 87.3
25 University of Washington, USA 85.3 78.0 77.6

The full list is available here.

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