Global rankings place 3 U.S. schools in top 10

By Laura Devaney
October 2nd, 2015

QS World University Rankings break down global school rankings for students, educators.

QS-rankingsThe twelfth edition of the QS World University Rankings 2015/16 lists the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the world’s top university, followed by Harvard University (2nd), The University Cambridge and Stanford University (a tie for 3rd).

ETH Zurich (9th) breaks into the top 10, while the sharpest rise in the top echelon of the table is for the two leading Singaporean universities, which make the top 15 for the first time ever. The National University of Singapore (12th) is the leading Asian institution, while Nanyang Technological University (13th) takes a leap, nearly closing the gap with its domestic rival. Australian National University (19th) also returns to the top 20.

The United States has 157 universities placed in the World University Rankings.

Two–CalTech (5th) and the University of Chicago (10th)–joined MIT, Harvard, and Stanford in the world’s top 10. It also led the way as the world leader in QS’s academic reputation rankings, which surveyed over 75000 academics. MIT led the rankings in this parameter, and was joined in the top five by UCB (4th) and Stanford (5th).

U.S. universities also performed strongly overall because they are regarded by employers as producing the some of the world’s most talented, innovative graduates. QS’s employer reputation parameter measures the responses of over 40,000 employers, and finds 18 U.S. universities among the top 100 for this measure. Three of these – Harvard, MIT, and Stanford – are among the top 10, and are part of a picture that uniformly paints American graduates as being among the world’s most desirable.

The QS World University Rankings are designed to provide students with comparable, accurate data to make informed decisions about their educational future.

From this year, in response to students’ feedback and in consultation with its advisory board, QS has adopted an approach to normalize publication and research citation data across faculty areas. This reform accounts for the large volume of citations generated by researchers in the Life Sciences and, to a lesser degree, those in the Natural Sciences. The modified approach to “citations per faculty”, a measure of research impact, has delivered fairer evaluations for universities with a strong profile in areas with lower research activity, such as arts, humanities and social sciences. 11.1 million research papers indexed by the Scopus/Elsevier bibliometric database have been analysed for this edition of the rankings.

Ben Sowter, QS Head of Research, says: “What’s fascinating about these latest results is that they reveal more diversity than ever in the distribution of world-class universities at the highest levels. We’re providing prospective students with the richest picture yet.”

To view the complete rankings, featuring the world’s top 891 universities as well as the Top 400 by Faculty areas:

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura

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