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9th Dec 2019

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European universities in world's top 100

  • Cambridge University is the EU's best (Photo: foshie)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US is the best university in the world in 2013, followed by Harvard University, according to an influential university ranking published by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

The only European universities in top 10 are British: Cambridge University (ranking third among the 700 universities surveyed), followed by University College London, Imperial College London and Oxford.

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Compared to other years, the QS ranking shows a resurgence of universities in continental Europe: Switzerland now has two universities in the top 20 - ETH Zurich, having moved up to the number 12 spot, and the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne, up to 19.

France has two universities in the top 50 - the Paris-based Ecole normale superieure (28) and the Ecole Polytechnique (41), followed by 19 other universities in the top 400.

The Netherlands has six schools in the top 100, with University of Amsterdam ranking best among them at 58.

Another ranking, by Britain's Times Higher Education group, recently put Dutch universities among the best in the world (after US and British ones) for attracting funding from businesses for research.

In Belgium, QS rated the Catholic University of Leuven at 77, while the University of Gent is the world's 122nd best, followed by four more Belgian universities in the top 200.

German universities only got three into the world's 100 best: Ruprecht-Karls-Universitaet Heidelberg (50), Technische Universitaet Munich (53) and Ludwig-Maximilian Universitaet Munich (65).

Up north, Denmark's University of Copenhagen has gone up to 45, followed by Sweden's Lund University (67) and Finland's Helsinki University (69).

Universities in Spain and Italy are only represented in the top 200: Barcelona's autonomous university (177) and University of Bologna (188).

Russia also has just one university in top 200, with Lomonosov Moscow state university on 120.

UK universities ranked best in EU

The UK hosts all the "world class" universities in Europe according to a fresh study, with the US top overall and French and German schools far behind.

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