The 100 Best Universities in the World Today
University rankings can focus on many different factors, including attractiveness of campus, satisfaction of students and alums, extracurricular benefits (such as top athletics programs), affordability of tuition, and expected income of graduates.
See who makes the list—The 100 Best Universities in the World!
But if the focus is on academic prestige, scholarly excellence, and intellectual horsepower, this article provides the ranking you want. At the universities in this ranking, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the brightest faculty and students in the world, developing your knowledge and skills so that you yourself will be in a position to join the world’s elite academics, scientists, and thinkers.
SJTU_LibraryFor this ranking, we looked to the Center for World-Class Universities operated by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (left). This center specializes in ranking universities around the world by academic performance.
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Accordingly, we identified the 100 best universities in the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, better known as the “Shanghai Ranking.” Taking the Shanghai Ranking as our point of departure, we researched the most important characteristics of each of the top 100 universities on the list in order to reveal why each university appears where it does.
The Most Top 100 Universities, Period:
How do American universities stack up against the competition overseas? Next to each university in our ranking is the country where the university resides. The country that you’ll find overwhelmingly represented is the United States. Indeed, over half of the world’s hundred best universities (52 to be exact) are in the U.S.
As you scan this list, you’ll notice some interesting patterns. Of the top ten universities in the world, the top eight are in the United States. Most of the Ivy League schools are on the list. Also, most of the University of California campuses are on this list as well. Other interesting patterns emerge when looking at this list as a whole.
The Most Top 100 Universities Per Capita:
If one focuses on countries that have the most top-tiered schools per capita, Switzerland tops the list with five of the “100 Best” universities for a population of roughly eight million people. Denmark ranks second per capita with two universities from our list. Sweden, with three listed universities, ranks third per capita; Israel, fourth; and Holland, fifth.
The Cities with Highest Concentration of Top 100 Universities:
New York, London, and Paris tie as the cities with the highest concentration of top 100 universities, with three represented universities in each city. Munich, Germany, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, tied for fourth, housing two universities each from our list.
Top Universities Offering Online Programs:
Some of the best Universities in the world offer distance learning, including many on this list. If distance learning from a top notch University fits your needs, make sure to consult our ranking of the best online colleges in the world. The higher quality the institution, the more you can trust that your online degree will be respected.
Without further ado, here is our list of the world’s 100 best universities. To assist our readers in seeing how American universities compare to themselves, we also include, in brackets, the relative rankings of U.S. universities.