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The top 20 universities in the world


The 2012/13 QS World University Rankings is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by University of Cambridge and Harvard University.


The rankings are based on data covering for areas—research, employability, teaching and internationalization. It also currently considers over 2,000 universities, and ranks over 700. The rankings are compiled using the following six indicators: Academic reputation, Employer reputation, Faculty/student ratio, Citations per faculty, International faculty ratio and international student ratio. (Images: University websites)


World’s Top 20 Universities
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) tops the list in the world’s top universities. It was established in 1861 and was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934. 77 Nobel laureates, 52 National Medal of Science recipients, 45 Rhodes Scholars, and 38 MacArthur Fellows are currently or have previously been affiliated with the university. (Note: All rankings as per latest QS World University Rankings 2012/13')

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World’s Top 20 Universities
University of Cambridge comes a close second, after retaining the top last year. It is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. The University's museums and collections also hold many treasures which give an exciting insight into some of the scholarly activities, both past and present, of the University's academics and students.


World’s Top 20 Universities
Harvard University, established in 1636, is ranked third and the university houses the largest academic library in the United States. Harvard is America's oldest institution of higher learning, founded 140 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Harvard College was named for its first benefactor, John Harvard of Charlestown


World’s Top 20 Universities
University College London (UCL), ranked fourth, is first in England to admit students regardless of their religion and to admit women on equal terms with men. UCL is consistently ranked as one of the top three multifaculty universities in the UK and features in the top 5 universities worldwide.


World’s Top 20 Universities
University of Oxford comes in fifth. It is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and has served as the home of the Rhodes Scholarship for more than a century. There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris


World’s Top 20 Universities
Imperial College London at sixth is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specializing in science, engineering, business and medicine. Imperial College staff are frequently consulted by governments, and also act as members of professional bodies, advise industry, and offer informed comment to the media.


World’s Top 20 Universities
Yale University, ranked at seven has produced many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and several foreign heads of state. Incorporated as the "Collegiate School", the institution traces its roots to 17th-century clergymen who sought to establish a college to train clergy and political leaders for the colony. In 1718, the College was renamed "Yale College" to honor a gift from Elihu Yale, a governor of the British East India Company.


World’s Top 20 Universities
University of Chicago is ranked eighth and is home to the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States. The University of Chicago is affiliated with 87 Nobel Laureates, 49 Rhodes Scholars and 9 Fields Medalists. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890.


World’s Top 20 Universities
Princeton University at ninth is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. The ambience of its earliest days is palpable in historic landmarks on campus, most notably Nassau Hall, which in 1783 was the temporary capitol of the United States. On a per-student basis, Princeton has the largest university endowment in the world.


World’s Top 20 Universities
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) comes in at ten and has 31 alumni and faculty winning the Nobel Prize and 66 the National Medal of Science or Technology. There are 109 faculty members who have been elected to the National Academies. In addition, numerous faculty members are associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as NASA. Caltech managed $332 million in sponsored research and $1.77 billion for its endowment in 2011


World’s Top 20 Universities
Columbia University is ranked at number 11. This University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York. Columbia annually administers the Pulitzer Prize and has been affiliated with more Nobel Prize laureates than any other academic institution in the world.


World’s Top 20 Universities
With a long and proud tradition of intellectual rigor and pursuit of innovative knowledge, University of Pennsylvania is ranked at number 12. Academic life at this University is unparalleled with an undergraduate student body of 10,000 from every U.S. state and around the world.


World’s Top 20 Universities
At number 13, ETH Zurich is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world. Twenty-one Nobel Prize have been awarded to students or professors of the Institute in the past, the most famous of which is Albert Einstein in 1921, and the most recent is Richard F. Heck in 2010.

World’s Top 20 Universities
Cornell University in Ithaca, New York is ranked at number 14. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865. The student body consists of nearly 14,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students from all 50 states and 122 countries.


World’s Top 20 Universities
Located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford University is recognized as one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions. It is ranked at number 15. The University remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today's complex world.


World’s Top 20 Universities
Johns Hopkins University is ranked at number 16. After more than 130 years, Johns Hopkins remains a world leader in both teaching and research. Eminent professors mentor top students in the arts and music, the humanities, the social and natural sciences, engineering, international studies, education, business and the health professions.


World’s Top 20 Universities
At number 17 is University of Michigan. The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.


World’s Top 20 Universities
With some 300 buildings, more than 37,500 students, 215,000 living alumni and a reputation for excellence that reaches around the globe, McGill University has carved out a spot among the world's great universities and is ranked at number 18.


World’s Top 20 Universities
At number 19 is University of Toronto. This university is dedicated to fostering an academic community in which the learning and scholarship of every member may flourish, with vigilant protection for individual human rights, and a resolute commitment to the principles of equal opportunity, equity and justice.


World’s Top 20 Universities
Duke University is ranked at number 20. The university has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.



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