The thirteenth edition of the QS World University Rankings indicates that investment in higher education – either public or private – is a key differentiating factor between this year’s risers (South Korea, Russia, the US, and China) and fallers (Most of Western and Southern Europe, South Africa, and Latin America).
- MIT is the world’s top university for the fifth consecutive year.
- Stanford, 2nd and Harvard, 3rd, follow.
- US institutions hold all top-three places for the first time since 2004/5.
- Western European institutions consistently suffer drops, particularly the UK and Germany. The University of Cambridge drops to fourth.
- Russia and South Korea rise significantly (16 top-500 universities compared to 13 last year).
- China progresses; Tsinghua (24th) achieves its highest-ever position.
- National University of Singapore (12th) leads Asian universities.
- Australia and Canada increase their representation in the top 200, with nine universities apiece, one more than last year.
- Latin America struggles, but sees a top-100 institution for the first time since 2006. Universidad de Buenos Aires (85th) occupies the second-highest rank ever achieved by a Latin American university.
- Universidade de São Paulo also occupies its highest-ever position (120th).
2016 2015 TOP 20 UNIVERSITIES 1 1 MIT US 2 3= STANFORD US 3 2 HARVARD US 4 3= CAMBRIDGE UK 5 5 CALTECH US 6 6 OXFORD UK 7 7 UCL UK 8 9 ETH ZURICH SWITZERLAND 9 8 IMPERIAL COLLEGE UK 10 10 CHICAGO US 11 11 PRINCETON US 12 12 NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE SINGAPORE 13 13 NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY SINGAPORE 14 14 EPFL SWITZERLAND 15 15 YALE US 16 17 CORNELL US 17 16 JOHNS HOPKINS US 18 18 UPENN US 19 21 EDINBURGH UK 20 22 COLUMBIA US
74,651 academics and 37,781 employers contributed to the rankings through the QS global surveys, the largest of their kind. QS analyzed 10.3 million research papers and 66.3 million citations, indexed by Elsevier’s Scopus database.
Ben Sowter, Head of Research, QS, said: “Institutions in countries providing high levels of targeted funding, whether from endowments or the public purse, rise. Conversely, Western European nations making or proposing cuts to public research spending lose ground to their US and Asian counterparts.”
The rankings include 916 universities from 81 countries. Thirty-three countries feature in the Top 200. The US dominates, with 48 institutions, ahead of the UK (30), Netherlands (12), Germany (11), Canada, Australia (9), Japan(8), China (7), France, Sweden and Hong Kong (5).