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 evaluation of the teaching reputation, also includes such statistics as students-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 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 plans 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 is a great opportunity to enhance your knowledge level in the leading institutions and get an access to courses from the best professors and trainers, being thousands of kilometers away.

World rankings of the 50 best universities 2016-2017
Rank University Overall score Country Teaching
Rank (score)
Research
Rank (score)
Online Courses
1University of Oxford95.0UK05 (89.6)01 (99.1)min £255
2California Institute of Technology94.3USA01 (95.5)06 (95.7)Free
3Stanford University93.8USA02 (92.6)05 (95.9)Free
4University of Cambridge93.6UK03 (90.6)03 (97.2)min £240
5Massachusetts Institute of Technology93.4USA04 (90.3)08 (92.3)Free
6Harvard University92.7USA09 (87.5)02 (98.3)Free
7Princeton University90.2USA06 (89.5)15 (88.4)Free
8Imperial College London90.0UK11 (86.4)18 (86.6)Free
9ETH Zurich89.3Switzerland17 (81.5)07 (93.7)Free
10University of California, Berkeley88.9USA16 (82.4)04 (96.1)Free
11University of Chicago88.9USA08 (88.1)12 (89.1)Free
12Yale University88.2USA07 (88.5)16 (87.8)Free
13University of Pennsylvania87.1USA12 (85.9)14 (88.9)Free
14University of California, Los Angeles86.6USA15 (82.9)13 (89.0)Free
15University College London86.5UK22 (77.4)09 (90.0)Free
16Columbia University86.1USA10 (86.9)30 (78.9)Free
17Johns Hopkins University85.9USA23 (77.4)23 (84.3)Free
18Duke University84.7USA18 (80.7)28 (80.0)Free
19Cornell University84.6USA19 (79.7)19 (86.5)Free
20Northwestern University83.7USA25 (75.8)22 (85.0)Free
21University of Michigan83.6USA20 (79.4)21 (86.1)Free
22University of Toronto83.0Canada28 (74.6)20 (86.3)Free
23Carnegie Mellon University81.8USA31 (70.2)24 (84.0)Free
24National University of Singapore81.7Singapore24 (76.7)17 (86.9)Free
25University of Washington80.2USA32 (70.2)26 (80.4)Free
26London School of Economics and Political Science80.2UK29 (70.8)32 (74.7)None
27University of Edinburgh79.2UK36 (67.5)33 (74.7)Free
28Karolinska Institutet77.6Sweden46 (62.1)31 (76.0)Free
29Peking University77.2China13 (84.6)27 (80.3)Free
30LMU Munich76.8Germany30 (70.5)38 (73.4)Free
31EPFL76.8Switzerland44 (62.9)56 (66.1)Free
32New York University76.7USA27 (75.1)49 (68.8)None
33University of Melbourne76.3Australia42 (65.4)37 (73.6)Free
34Georgia Institute of Technology76.3USA53 (60.8)29 (79.2)Free
35Tsinghua University76.2China21 (78.9)10 (89.6)Free
36University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign75.9USA41 (65.6)25 (81.4)Free
37University of British Columbia75.9Canada50 (61.2)40 (72.5)Free
38King’s College London75.9UK48 (61.5)42 (71.0)Free
39University of Tokyo74.1Japan14 (83.4)11 (89.2)Free
40KU Leuven73.8Belgium64 (57.0)36 (73.7)Free
41University of California, San Diego73.2USA51 (61.2)55 (66.2)Free
42McGill University73.1Canada39 (66.4)44 (70.3)Free
43University of Hong Kong73.0Hong Kong38 (66.5)34 (74.5)Free
44Heidelberg University73.0Germany37 (66.7)58 (65.0)Free
45University of Wisconsin–Madison72.6USA35 (68.2)41 (71.4)Free
46Technical University of Munich71.6Germany52 (61.0)43 (70.5)Free
47Australian National University71.3Australia71 (54.0)35 (73.9)Free
48University of California, Santa Barbara71.2USA83 (52.2)63 (62.6)None
49HKUST71.1Hong Kong78 (53.2)53 (66.7)Free
50University of Texas at Austin70.8USA43 (63.9)57 (65.9)Free