The QS World University Rankings is a ranking of the world’s top 500 universities by Quacquarelli Symonds using a method that has published annually since 2004.
The QS rankings were originally published in publication with Times Higher Education from 2004 to 2009 as the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings. In 2010, Times Higher Education and QS ended their collaboration. QS assumed sole publication of the existing methodology, while Times Higher Education created a new ranking methodology, published as Times Higher Education World University Rankings. (Also see 10 of Asia's 200 Best Universities 2011)
1 - University of Cambridge
United Kingdom, L, Score: 100.00
The University of Cambridge is rich in history - its famous Colleges and University buildings attract visitors from all over the world. But 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.
The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world and one of the largest in the United Kingdom. Its reputation for outstanding academic achievement is known world-wide and reflects the intellectual achievement of its students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by the staff of the University and the Colleges. Its reputation is endorsed by the Quality Assurance Agency and by other external reviewers of learning and teaching, such as External Examiners.
These high standards are the result of both the learning opportunities offered at Cambridge and by its extensive resources, including libraries, museums and other collections. Teaching consists not only of lectures, seminars and practical classes led by people who are world experts in their field, but also more personalised teaching arranged through the Colleges. Many opportunities exist for students to interact with scholars of all levels, both formally and informally.
There are 31 Colleges in Cambridge. Three are for women (New Hall, Newnham and Lucy Cavendish) and two admit only graduates (Clare Hall and Darwin). The remainder house and teach all students enrolled in courses of study or research at the University
Each College is an independent institution with its own property and income. The Colleges appoint their own staff and are responsible for selecting students, in accordance with University regulations. The teaching of students is shared between the Colleges and University departments. Degrees are awarded by the University.
Within each College, staff and students of all disciplines are brought together. This cross-fertilisation has encouraged the free exchange of ideas which has led to the creation of a number of new companies. Trinity and St John's have also established science parks, providing facilities for start-ups, and making a significant contribution to the identification of Cambridge as a centre of innovation and technology.
In addition to the collections on display in the University's libraries & museums, there is a wealth of sporting and cultural activity at the University of Cambridge, much of it organised by individual clubs and societies run by staff and students. Although the University does not offer courses in the creative arts or sport, there is a strong tradition of achievement in these fields, with many former students going on to gain international standing as artists, performers and athletes. Initiatives ensure that aspiring performers enrich their education with a high level of activity outside the lecture.
2 - Harvard University
United States, L, Score: 99.18
Harvard College was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony, and was named for its first benefactor, John Harvard of Charlestown.
Harvard is America's oldest institution of higher learning, founded 140 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 18,000 degree candidates, including undergraduates and students in 10 principal academic units. An additional 13,000 students are enrolled in one or more courses in the Harvard Extension School. Over 14,000 people work at Harvard, including more than 2,000 faculty. There are also 7,000 faculty appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals.
Our mission, to advance new ideas and promote enduring knowledge, has kept the University young. We strive to create an academic environment in which outstanding students and scholars from around the world are continually challenged and inspired to do their best possible work. It is Harvard's collective efforts that make this university such a vibrant place to live, to learn, to work, and to explore.
3 - Yale University
United States, M, Score: 98.68
Yale University was founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School in the home of Abraham Pierson, its first rector, in Killingworth, Connecticut. In 1716 the school moved to New Haven and, with the generous gift by Elihu Yale of nine bales of goods, 417 books, and a portrait and arms of King George I, was renamed Yale College in 1718.
Yale embarked on a steady expansion, establishing the Medical Institution (1810), Divinity School (1822), Law School (1843), Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1847), the School of Fine Arts (1869), and School of Music (1894). In 1887 Yale College became Yale University. It continued to add to its academic offerings with the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (1900), School of Nursing (1923), School of Drama (1955), School of Architecture (1972), and School of Management (1974).
As Yale enters its fourth century, it's goal is to become a truly global university?educating leaders and advancing the frontiers of knowledge not simply for the United States, but for the entire world. Richard C. Levin, the president of Yale University, says: ?The globalization of the University is in part an evolutionary development. Yale has drawn students from outside the United States for nearly two centuries, and international issues have been represented in its curriculum for the past hundred years and more. But creating the global university is also a revolutionary development?signaling distinct changes in the substance of teaching and research, the demographic characteristics of students, the scope and breadth of external collaborations, and the engagement of the University with new audiences.
4 - UCL (University College London)
United Kingdom, L, Score: 98.54
Described by The Sunday Times as 'an intellectual powerhouse with a world-class reputation', UCL is consistently ranked as one of the top three multifaculty universities in the UK and features in the top 5 universities worldwide.
UCL is a multidisciplinary university with an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching across the academic spectrum, with subjects spanning the sciences, arts, social sciences and biomedicine. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) UCL was rated the best research university in London, and third in the UK overall, for the number of its submissions which were considered of world-leading quality. The RAE confirmed UCLâ??s multidisciplinary research strength with outstanding results achieved across the subjects, ranging from Biomedicine, Science and Engineering, and the Built Environment to Laws, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.
Teaching at UCL is 'research-led', meaning that the programmes we offer reflect the very latest research and are often taught by academic staff members who are world-leaders in their fields. UCL has one of the best staff-student ratios in the UK and places a strong emphasis on small group teaching.
As well as being dynamic and intellectually challenging, UCL offers a very cosmopolitan and international environment in which to study. Over 30% of our students are from outside the UK, coming from nearly 140 different countries. UCL also attracts academic staff from around the globe, and international staff and students alike are welcomed for the different perspectives and diversity they bring to teaching and learning at UCL.
The university is located on a compact site in the very heart of London and is surrounded by the greatest concentration of libraries, museums, archives, cultural institutions and professional bodies in Europe.
5 - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
United States, M, Score: 98.19
The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.
The Institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world's great challenges. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.
The Institute admitted its first students in 1865, four years after the approval of its founding charter. The opening marked the culmination of an extended effort by William Barton Rogers, a distinguished natural scientist, to establish a new kind of independent educational institution relevant to an increasingly industrialized America. Rogers stressed the pragmatic and practicable. He believed that professional competence is best fostered by coupling teaching and research and by focusing attention on real-world problems. Toward this end, he pioneered the development of the teaching laboratory.
Today MIT is a world-class educational institution. Teaching and research-with relevance to the practical world as a guiding principle-continue to be its primary purpose. MIT is independent, coeducational, and privately endowed. Its five schools and one college encompass 34 academic departments, divisions, and degree-granting programs, as well as numerous interdisciplinary centers, laboratories, and programs whose work cuts across traditional departmental boundaries.
6 - University of Oxford
United Kingdom, L, Score: 98.16
Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and lays claim to nine centuries of continuous existence. As an internationally renowned centre for teaching and research, Oxford attracts students and scholars from across the globe, with almost a quarter of our students from overseas. More than 130 nationalities are represented among a student population of over 18,000.
Oxford is a collegiate university, with 39 self-governing colleges related to the University in a type of federal system. There are also seven Permanent Private Halls, founded by different Christian denominations. Thirty colleges and all halls admit students for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Seven other colleges are for graduates only; one has Fellows only, and one specializes in part-time and continuing education.
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.
Oxford is one of Europe's most innovative and entrepreneurial universities. Drawing on an 800-year tradition of discovery and invention, modern Oxford leads the way in creating jobs, wealth, skills and innovation for the 21st century. The leading UK university for knowledge transfer and commercial spin-outs, Oxford was also the UK pioneer in developing a university intellectual property policy.
Each year, Oxford welcomes students with great potential, at both undergraduate and graduate level, from all over the globe. Our students are attracted by the chance to study at an internationally-renowned seat of learning, with a centuries-old reputation for outstanding academic achievement and innovation.
Oxford meets the needs of students, teachers and the international research community with an extremely rich and diverse range of library resources provided by over 100 separate libraries.
Oxford's museums and collections are world renowned. They provide an important resource for scholars internationally, and welcome visits from members of the public. Admission is free, except for the Botanic Garden, where visitors are charged a small admission fee, and Christ Church Picture Gallery, which makes a small charge, with concessions for children, students and senior citizens.
7 - Imperial College London
United Kingdom, L, Score: 97.78
Imperial College London is a university of world class scholarship, education and research in science, engineering and medicine, with particular regard to their application in industry, commerce and healthcare. Established in 1907, it is located in the heart of London. It is consistently rated among the United Kingdom's top three universities, and was ranked 5th in the world by the Times Higher Education Supplement in 2009.
The College has over 3,000 academic and research staff and almost 14,000 students from over 120 different countries. Our reputation for excellence in teaching and research in science, engineering, medicine and business attracts students and staff of the highest international calibre. 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.
Imperial nurtures a can-do entrepreneurial culture and as a result has an enormous amount of intellectual capital. It has about 90 spin-out companies to date and is adding to this by an average of two per month.
Imperial has three Faculties, of Engineering, Natural Sciences, Medicine; the Imperial College Business School; and a Humanities Department. Interdisciplinary research is promoted through several Institutes, for example the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Energy Futures Lab. We provide undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in all branches of science, engineering and medicine. Two Graduate Schools, Engineering and Physical Science, and Life Sciences and Medicine, provide training in a broader range of student skills. College accommodation is provided for undergraduate students in their first year.
8 - University of Chicago
United States, M, Score: 97.52
A private university chartered in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago has been shaping higher education and the intellectual lives of undergraduates for more than a century. William Rainey Harper, the first president, imagined a university that would combine an American-style undergraduate liberal arts college with a German-style graduate research university. The University of Chicago quickly fulfilled Harper's dream, becoming a national leader in academia and research.
Boasting its 211-acre campus on the shores of Lake Michigan, UChicago has been home to over eighty Nobel Laureates, the largest number affiliated with any American university. UChicago scholars were the first to split the atom, to measure the speed of light, and to develop the field of sociology. The College is the largest academic unit of the University, which encompasses 10 graduate divisions and professional schools, including on-campus law, business, and medical schools.
9 - California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
United States, S, Score: 96.46
The mission of the California Institute of Technology is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology in a singularly collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while educating outstanding students to become creative members of society.
10 - Princeton University
United States, M, Score: 96.03
Princeton 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.
From such a distinctive beginning grew something great -- a community of learning that continues to evolve, providing abundant opportunities to talented students from around the world.
As a research university, it seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding, and in the education of graduate students. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching.
The University provides its students with academic, extracurricular and other resources -- in a residential community committed to diversity in its student body, faculty and staff -- that help them achieve at the highest scholarly levels and prepare them for positions of leadership and lives of service in many fields of human endeavor.
Through the scholarship and teaching of its faculty, and the many contributions to society of its alumni, Princeton seeks to fulfill its informal motto: ?Princeton in the Nation?s Service and in the Service of All Nations.
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