World's Top 50 universities

Every year, thousands of universities worldwide produce graduates, undertake research and publish scientific papers. How to find out who are the leaders today in higher education? How to choose among them?

A number of global rankings are published annually. Some are focusing on academic achievements, reputation in science and the number of graduates awarded with Nobel Prize or other notable awards. Undoubtedly, these indicators are very important, but for future students, it could be only an indirect confirmation of the quality of the learning process.

Here, we represent the current World University Rankings by The Times Higher Education, which uses more than a dozen indicators to evaluate the institutions' real activities for more comprehensive comparison. The most important groups of indicators we consider:

  • Teaching - is based on the evaluation of the teaching reputation, also includes such statistics as a student-to-staff ratio, doctorate-to-bachelor’s and doctorates awarded-to-academic staff ratios. It also estimates institution's financial status and ability to provide students and faculty with the required infrastructure.
  • Research - is based on the university's reputation in research by the opinion of academics, also evaluates the funding of scientific programs and their productivity level.

In the table below the top universities are ranked by the overall score with an indication of their Teaching Rank (score), which is very helpful for future students seeking to obtain a world-class degree, and Research Rank (score) for those who plan further to continue in the science field.

A distinctive feature of the global leaders in education is an active promotion of distance learning. Most of them are offering a wide range of online courses in many disciplines (free or for some charge). It's a great opportunity to enhance your knowledge level in the leading institutions and get access to courses from the best professors and trainers, being thousands of kilometers away.

World rankings of the 50 best universities 2019
Rank University Overall score Country Teaching
Rank (score)
Rank (score)
Online Courses
1University of Oxford96.0UK05 (91.8)01 (99.5)Free
2University of Cambridge94.8UK03 (92.1)02 (98.8)Free
3Stanford University94.7USA02 (93.6)05 (96.8)Free
4Massachusetts Institute of Technology94.2USA04 (91.9)09 (92.7)Free
5California Institute of Technology94.1USA01 (94.5)04 (97.2)Free
6Harvard University93.6USA08 (90.1)03 (98.4)Free
7Princeton University92.3USA09 (89.9)07 (93.6)Free
8Yale University91.3USA06 (91.6)08 (93.5)Free
9Imperial College London90.3UK13 (85.8)18 (87.7)Free
10University of Chicago90.2USA07 (90.2)13 (90.1)Free
11ETH Zurich89.3Switzerland17 (83.3)11 (91.4)Free
12University of Pennsylvania89.0USA12 (87.4)15 (89.2)Free
13Johns Hopkins University89.0USA19 (81.9)12 (90.5)Free
14University College London87.8UK22 (79.1)13 (90.1)Free
15University of California, Berkeley87.7USA23 (78.7)10 (92.3)Free
16Columbia University87.2USA14 (85.4)24 (83.1)Free
17University of California, Los Angeles86.4USA18 (82.6)17 (87.9)Free
18Duke University85.4USA15 (84.1)30 (78.8)Free
19Cornell University85.1USA21 (79.7)22 (85.4)Free
20University of Michigan84.1USA20 (80.0)21 (85.9)Free
21University of Toronto84.0Canada28 (75.8)20 (86.3)Free
22Tsinghua University82.8China11 (87.7)06 (94.1)Free
23National University of Singapore82.4Singapore26 (77.3)15 (88.8)Free
24Carnegie Mellon University82.0USA38 (69.0)26 (81.2)Free
25Northwestern University81.7USA38 (69.0)23 (83.6)Free
26London School of Economics and Political Science81.3UK32 (71.0)24 (83.1)None
27New York University81.0USA24 (77.7)33 (76.1)Free
28University of Washington80.4USA33 (70.7)28 (79.7)Free
29University of Edinburgh79.8UK37 (69.2)37 (73.7)Free
30University of California, San Diego79.7USA45 (65.4)29 (79.2)Free
31Peking University79.2China10 (88.8)27 (80.4)Free
32LMU Munich78.3Germany35 (69.9)33 (76.1)Free
33University of Melbourne78.3Australia42 (68.0)39 (73.4)Free
34Georgia Institute of Technology77.5USA53 (62.5)33 (76.1)Free
35EPFL76.9Switzerland44 (66.5)54 (66.5)Free
36University of Hong Kong76.3Hong Kong31 (72.6)31 (78.4)Free
37University of British Columbia76.0Canada60 (60.8)40 (72.6)Free
38King’s College London75.8UK59 (61.1)48 (68.7)Free
39University of Texas at Austin75.4USA40 (68.8)36 (74.2)Free
40Karolinska Institute74.9Sweden78 (56.1)41 (72.1)Free
41Paris Sciences et Lettres74.4France30 (74.3)52 (67.8)Free
42University of Tokyo74.1Japan16 (84.0)19 (87.2)Free
43University of Wisconsin–Madison73.9USA34 (70.3)44 (71.0)Free
44McGill University73.7Canada46 (64.1)47 (69.4)Free
45Technical University of Munich73.7Germany52 (62.9)49 (68.6)Free
46HKUST73.5Hong Kong71 (56.8)53 (67.6)Free
47Heidelberg University73.2Germany37 (68.1)72 (59.0)Free
48KU Leuven72.6Belgium70 (56.9)46 (70.4)Free
49Australian National University72.4Australia82 (55.5)45 (70.6)Free
50University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign72.3USA49 (63.2)38 (73.5)Free