U.S. News & World Report today released the 2018 Best Global Universities rankings. The overall rankings evaluate 1,250 universities–up from 1,000 last year–across 74 countries and are the largest and most comprehensive assessment of research universities worldwide.
The U. S. leads the rankings again this year, with 221 universities making the overall list. The top four spots are held by U.S. schools, with Harvard University at No. 1. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology comes in at No. 2, followed by Stanford University at No. 3 and the University of California—Berkeley at No. 4. The United Kingdom’s University of Oxford rounds out the top 5.
Behind the U.S., the following countries have the most ranked institutions out of the 1,250 schools on the overall list:
- China: 136
- Japan: 76
- U.K.: 73
- Germany: 58
In addition to the overall list, the new edition of Best Global Universities includes rankings by country, region and subject. New this year are four country-specific rankings, including for Argentina and Mexico, bringing the total up to 42.
Across the 22 subject-specific rankings, U.S. schools again claim the most No. 1 spots. However, for the first time, China’s Tsinghua University replaces MIT as No. 1 in computer science and once again tops the list for engineering.
Listed in rank order, these countries performed the best in the following subject rankings:
- Computer science: U.S., China, U.K., Canada, Australia
- Economics and business: U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, China (tie), Netherlands (tie)
- Engineering: U.S., China, U.K., Canada, Italy
- Neuroscience and behavior: U.S., Germany, U.K., Canada (tie), France (tie), Netherlands (tie)
“The schools that rank the highest in the Best Global Universities rankings are those that emphasize academic research, including by partnering with international scholars to produce highly cited articles,” said Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News. “This is different from the Best Colleges rankings, which measure the overall quality of undergraduate institutions in the U.S. and focus on student outcomes such as graduation and retention rates.”
For the 2018 edition, U.S. News made a slight change to the methodology to further emphasize international collaboration at universities by rewarding schools that author articles with researchers from different countries.
The Best Global Universities methodology, which is based on Web of Science data and metrics provided by Clarivate Analytics InCites, weighs factors that measure a university’s global and regional research reputation and academic research performance. For the overall rankings, this includes bibliometric indicators such as publications, citations and international collaboration. Each subject ranking has its own methodology based on academic research performance and reputation in that specific area.
“For more than 30 years, U.S. News has been committed to making higher education data more accessible to prospective students choosing a U.S. university,” said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. “The Best Global Universities rankings similarly allow consumers to accurately evaluate and compare international schools to find the right fit for them, based on available data.”
Overall Best Global Universities – Top 10
1. Harvard University (U.S.)
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.)
3. Stanford University (U.S.)
4. University of California—Berkeley (U.S.)
5. University of Oxford (U.K.)