Decoding the World’s 20 Best Small Universities as per THE

London: California Institute of Technology (CalTech), based in the USA, is crowned as the number one in Times Higher Education’s Best Small Universities in the World 2017, published recently for the second time.  École Normale Supérieure, France has featured at second place while  Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea has stood third in the THE Best Small Universities in the World 2017.

French and Italian universities have taken three places respectively in the top 10, none of which have more than 3,000 students. The three French universities in the top 10 are École Normale Supérieure ranked second, followed by École Polytechnique in fourth and École Normale Supérieure de Lyon was listed seventh in the ranking. Italy’s three in the top 10 are Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa in fifth place, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in sixth and Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, tenth.


Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India has secured eighth, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences has found ninth place. As per  Times Higher Education, Small universities are defined by having fewer than 5,000 students and teach and research across more than four disciplines.

Seeta Bhardwa, student editor at Times Higher Education said: “The Best Small Universities in the World for 2017 highlights that small universities provide high student satisfaction and good working relationships between students and their professors. Many students are drawn to smaller class sizes, higher teacher to student ratios and the community-like feel that a small university can provide.

“Speaking to students from small universities,it’s clear that they really enjoy attending a university with a more close-knit learning environment. It’s important to provide students with a definitive ranking of the world’s best small universities to ensure that we are providing as much information as we can to cater to all students’ needs. The more information we can provide students on the different types of universities there are, the clearer a picture they can gain about the best institution for them.”

The 20 Best Small Universities in the World: THE

Small rank

Institution Country
1 California Institute of Technology US
2 École Normale Supérieure France
3 Pohang University of Science and Technology South Korea
4 École Polytechnique France
5 Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Italy
6 Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Italy
7 École Normale Supérieure de Lyon France
8 Indian Institute of Science India
9 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden
10 Free University of Bozen-Bolzano Italy
11 Koç University Turkey
12 Clark University US
13 University of Alaska Fairbanks US
14 Sabancı University Turkey
15 Hasselt University Belgium
16 Cyprus University of Technology Cyprus
17 Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) Japan
18 University of Neuchâtel Switzerland
19 University of Tulsa US
20 Bond University Australia


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