Discover the World’s Best Universities 2018 as per Times Higher Education-World University Rankings

London:  University of Oxford of the UK has secured the first place for second year running in the Times Higher EducationWorld University Rankings 2018. University of Cambridge has been crowned as the second best university in the world. California Institute of Technology drops to joint third position with Stanford University – first time US institutions drop out of top two.

The Times Higher Education on 05 September 2017 published  the 14th annual edition of its World University Rankings, the definitive list of the top 1,000 universities from 77 countries. The University of Oxford retains its place as the world’s most prestigious university with exceptional scores in teaching, research, citations and international outlook. The University of Cambridge climbs to its highest ever finish in second place, pushing both California Institute of Technology and Stanford University into joint third.


 Overall, the United States continues to dominate the rankings with twice as many universities in the top 200 (62) as the UK (31). Germany (20), The Netherlands (13) and Australia (eight) are also well represented in the top 200, but it is ascendancy of Chinese universities that continues to impress. Peking University climbs to its highest position in joint 27th making it equal to both the University of Edinburgh and New York University. Almost all Chinese universities improve, signalling that the country’s commitment to investment has bolstered results year-on-year.

East Asia is the stand-out region in this year’s THE World University Rankings. China is now home to two top-30 places for the first time in the 14-year history of the table and Peking and Tsinghua have overtaken several prestigious institutions in North America, Europe and Australia on their way.

Peking is now on a par with New York University and the University of Edinburgh (they share joint 27th place) and ahead of the Karolinksa Institute. Meanwhile, Tsinghua has overtaken the University of Melbourne, Georgia Institute of Technology, LMU Munich, and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Along with the National University of Singapore at joint 22nd place, there are now three Asian universities in the top 30 of the ranking for the first time under the current methodology.

Hong Kong’s leading duo have also risen; the University of Hong Kong has climbed three places to 40th, while the 26-year-old Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has jumped five places to 44th.

Phil Baty, Editorial Director of  Times Higher Education,  said “The rise of China in this year’s table is remarkable and demonstrates the way the global higher education landscape is changing. With two top-30 representatives for the first time in the 14-year history of the rankings, China’s leading universities are truly now part of the global elite and overtaking prestigious universities in the US, UK and Europe. But the results show that other east Asian nations are feeling the competition from this Asian giant. South Korea, which has been improving in recent years, is one of many victims of China’s success this year. Japan’s UTokyo has also suffered. East Asian countries outside of China will need to work hard to stay stable as its neighbour soars to join the global elite.”

North America’s dominance of the THE World University Rankings has waned further amid increasing global competition. For the first time in the 13-year history of the rankings the US is not home to the top two spots in the table. Last year, the California Institute of Technology ended its five-year reign of the rankings after being overtaken by the University of Oxford. Caltech fell one place further to joint third this year as Cambridge climbed from fourth to second.

Overall two-fifths of the US institutions in the top 200 (29 out of 62) have dropped places. Canada has fared better overall, generally maintaining a steady performance in the table. However, both nations are feeling the threat from universities in Asia with, for example, the University of Hong Kong overtaking McGill University and the National University of Singapore now on a par with the University of Toronto and has overtaken Carnegie Mellon University.

Europe is home to half of the top 200 institutions in the THE World University Rankings but continues to face fierce competition from universities in Asia. For the first time in the 14-year history of the rankings, two European institutions take the top two spots; the University of Oxford is number one for the second year in a row and the University of Cambridge jumps to second place from fourth.

Switzerland’s ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich also clings onto a spot in the top 10, after dropping one place from ninth to joint 10th. Meanwhile, Trinity College Dublin has jumped 14 places to 117th this year. Italy and Spain both have new number ones thanks to large rises for two of their institutions: Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and Pompeu Fabra University.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, now in their 14th year, apply rigorous standards, using tough global benchmarks across all of a global research university’s key missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The results are trusted by students and their families and by academics, university leaders and governments.

List of the World’s Best Universities as per Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018

Rank 2018 Previous year Institution Country
1 1 University of Oxford United Kingdom
2 4 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
=3 2 California Institute of Technology United States
=3 3 Stanford University United States
5 5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
6 6 Harvard University United States
7 7 Princeton University United States
8 8 Imperial College London United Kingdom
9 =10 University of Chicago United States
=10 9 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland
=10 13 University of Pennsylvania United States
12 12 Yale University United States
13 17 Johns Hopkins University United States
14 16 Columbia University United States
15 14 University of California, Los Angeles United States
16 15 University College London United Kingdom
17 18 Duke University United States
18 =10 University of California, Berkeley United States
19 19 Cornell University United States
20 20 Northwestern University United States
21 21 University of Michigan United States
=22 24 National University of Singapore Singapore
=22 22 University of Toronto Canada
24 23 Carnegie Mellon University United States
=25 =25 London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom
=25 =25 University of Washington United States
=27 27 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
=27 32 New York University United States
=27 29 Peking University China
30 35 Tsinghua University China
31 41 University of California, San Diego United States
32 =33 University of Melbourne Australia
33 =33 Georgia Institute of Technology United States
=34 =36 University of British Columbia Canada
=34 =30 LMU Munich Germany
36 =36 King’s College London United Kingdom
37 =36 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States
=38 =30 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland
=38 28 Karolinska Institute Sweden
40 =43 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
41 46 Technical University of Munich Germany

(Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018)


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