Wednesday

21st Feb 2018

Focus

UK and Swiss universities fare well in global ranking

  • Students at ETH Zurich, the 9th best university according to Times Higher Education (Photo: t-mizo)

Four UK universities and one Swiss university represent Europe in the top-20 of this year's World University Ranking, published in the Times' Higher Education magazine Wednesday (30 September).

The University of Oxford, which occupied third place last year, ousted Harvard from second place. Harvard is now in #6 position.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Students at Oxford, which snatched second place from Harvard (Photo: skittledog)

The top of the list is still dominated by US educational institutions, as has been the case for years.

California Institute of Technology once again took first place honours, followed closely by Stanford University, which took the #3 position. Massachusetts Institute of Technology crept in at #5.

Other high-scoring European universities are University of Cambridge (UK, #4, up from #5), Imperial College London (UK, #8, up from #9), ETH Zurich (Switzerland, #9, up from #13), and University College London (UK, #14, up from #22).

The first university from an EU country outside of the UK is Karolinska Institute in Sweden, occupying place 28.

The list is compiled by a methodology determined by Times Higher Education, a London-based magazine. Between 2004 and 2009 it collaborated with company Quacquarelli Symonds, but QS has since come up with its own list – and there are several others out there with different methodologies.

'Simplistic' ranking

The European Commission has in the past criticized the rankings for failing to "represent the diverse and multifunctional nature of universities and their research activities accurately."

"The Commission is of the opinion that many existing rankings do not really fulfil this purpose, for example because they focus on research aspects rather than teaching, and on entire institutions rather than programmes and departments", it said in 2010.

Four years later, it launched an alternative ranking system called U-Multirank.

"The idea is to avoid simplistic league tables which can result in misleading comparisons between institutions of very different types or mask significant differences in quality between courses at the same university", the commission said at the time.

Nevertheless, Wednesday's "simplistic" list can be expected to be cited by European universities that perform well, or by countries with a relatively high number of listings.

The top-200 list includes 63 universities from the United States, 34 from the UK, 20 from Germany, 12 from the Netherlands, 7 from Switzerland, 6 from Sweden, 5 from France, 4 from Belgium, and 3 each from Denmark, Italy, and Spain.

China only has two universities listed in the top-200: Peking University (#42, up from 48) and Tsinghua University (#47, up from 49).

The twenty best-scoring European universities are:

2. University of Oxford (UK)

4. University of Cambridge (UK)

8. Imperial College London (UK)

9. ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland)

14. University College London (UK)

23. London School of Economics and Political Science (UK)

24. University of Edinburgh (UK)

27. King's College London (UK)

28. Karolinska Institute (Sweden)

29. LMU Munich (Germany)

31. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)

35. KU Leuven (Belgium)

37. Heidelberg University (Germany)

47. Wageningen University and Research Center (The Netherlands)

49. Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany)

53. Technical University of Munich (Germany)

54. École Normale Supérieure (France)

56. University of Manchester (UK)

58. University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

62. Utrecht University (The Netherlands)

US and UK universities top world rankings

American and British universities continue to dominate in the global rankings with the next best faculty in a EU member state trailing a distant 24.

EU to test new university ranking in 2010

The European Union is developing a new worldwide ranking system of universities to rival currently established league tables in a bid to improve the ranking of European universities and improve Europe's economic power.

Education inequalities remain high in EU

Less people leave school prematurely, but socio-economic status, immigrant background and gender are still factors of underachievement, a commission report says.

Supported by

News in Brief

  1. Tusk: EU budget agreed before 2019 elections 'unrealistic'
  2. Commission fines car cartels €546m
  3. Juncker: 'nothing' wrong in Katainen meeting Barroso
  4. Juncker appoints new head of cabinet
  5. MEPs decide not to veto fossil fuel projects list
  6. Factory relocation risks drawing Vestager into Italian election
  7. Irregular migration into EU drops to four-year low, says Frontex
  8. Macron's new migrant law faces opposition in parliament

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  2. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  3. International Climate ShowSupporting Start-Ups & SMEs in the Energy Transition. 21 February in Brussels
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  9. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  10. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  12. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP

Latest News

  1. MEPs bar WMD and killer robots from new EU arms fund
  2. Canete gets EU parliament pension while still commissioner
  3. Bank of Latvia sends deputy to ECB amid bribery probe
  4. We are not (yet) one people
  5. Intellectual property protection - the cure for Europe's ills
  6. Eastern states push back at rule of law conditions on funds
  7. Katainen explains: My friend Barroso did not lobby me
  8. A European budget: securing a prosperous future for Europe

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  2. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  3. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  4. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”
  5. European Heart NetworkSmart CAP is Triple Win for Economy, Environment and Health
  6. European Free AlllianceEFA Joined the Protest in Aiacciu to Solicit a Dialogue After the Elections
  7. EPSUDrinking Water Directive Step Forward but Human Right to Water Not Recognized
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationGambling Operators File Data Protection Complaint Against Payment Block in Norway
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC Expresses Deep Concern Over Proposed Holocaust Law in Poland
  10. CECEConstruction Industry Gets Together to Discuss the Digital Revolution @ the EU Industry Days
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Relations in the New Era
  12. European Free AlllianceEnd Discrimination of European Minorities - Sign the Minority Safepack Initiative