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 2018Previous yearInstitutionCountry
11University of OxfordUnited Kingdom
24University of CambridgeUnited Kingdom
=32California Institute of TechnologyUnited States
=33Stanford UniversityUnited States
55Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUnited States
66Harvard UniversityUnited States
77Princeton UniversityUnited States
88Imperial College LondonUnited Kingdom
9=10University of ChicagoUnited States
=109ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ZurichSwitzerland
=1013University of PennsylvaniaUnited States
1212Yale UniversityUnited States
1317Johns Hopkins UniversityUnited States
1416Columbia UniversityUnited States
1514University of California, Los AngelesUnited States
1615University College LondonUnited Kingdom
1718Duke UniversityUnited States
18=10University of California, BerkeleyUnited States
1919Cornell UniversityUnited States
2020Northwestern UniversityUnited States
2121University of MichiganUnited States
=2224National University of SingaporeSingapore
=2222University of TorontoCanada
2423Carnegie Mellon UniversityUnited States
=25=25London School of Economics and Political ScienceUnited Kingdom
=25=25University of WashingtonUnited States
=2727University of EdinburghUnited Kingdom
=2732New York UniversityUnited States
=2729Peking UniversityChina
3035Tsinghua UniversityChina
3141University of California, San DiegoUnited States
32=33University of MelbourneAustralia
33=33Georgia Institute of TechnologyUnited States
=34=36University of British ColumbiaCanada
=34=30LMU MunichGermany
36=36King’s College LondonUnited Kingdom
37=36University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUnited States
=38=30École Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneSwitzerland
=3828Karolinska InstituteSweden
40=43University of Hong KongHong Kong
4146Technical University of MunichGermany

(Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018)


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