MIT at the Top of the List of World Universities

Nine of the top 10 tech-focused universities improve their position, led by MIT, Imperial College (6), Caltech (10) and ETH Zurich (13). Korea’s KAIST (63) is the biggest riser in the top 100, while Hong Kong’s HKUST (33) and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (47) continue their rapid ascent.

Some highlights:

  • In total, the US has 130 of the world’s top 700 universities, with six of the top ten and 13 of the top 20.
  • The UK replicates its recent sporting triumphs by taking an unprecedented four of the top six places. UCL (4) moves up three places from seventh to overtake Oxford (5), as Imperial College retains sixth place.
  • Nine of the top ten French universities fell – only one university, ENS Paris, in the global top 100 for research citations, well behind its EU neighbours the UK (8), Netherlands (6), Switzerland (5) and Germany (4).
  • University of Hong Kong (down one place to 23) is again the number one Asian institution, ahead of National University of Singapore (25) and Tokyo University (30).  Hong Kong universities continue to outperform Mainland China, with HKU, HKUST and CUHK ranking above Peking University (44) and Tsinghua (48). However, China has gone some way towards closing the gap. Seven of the top ten Mainland Chinese universities improve on their overall position, with just two falling.
  • University of Sao Paolo cements its position as Latin America’s top university, establishing a lead over Mexico’s UNAM (146), with which it tied last year. Brazil’s two other global top-400 universities also make big improvements in a year of positive developments for Latin American universities. The region’s top ten leading universities all improve on their 2011 performance, with 12 making the top 400, two more than last year.

“The rise of MIT coincides with a global shift in emphasis toward science and technology”, says QS head of research Ben Sowter. “MIT perfects a blueprint that is now being followed by a new wave of cutting-edge tech-focused institutions, especially in Asia”.