These Are the World's Top Universities According to Times Higher Education Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 shows Chinese Universities are on the rise.
Jessica Miley

Universities from China and Japan are slowly creeping up the World University Rankings list although US and UK based institutions still dominate.

The 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings is the biggest comparison list to date, including more than 1,250 universities across the globe.

The performance table is created by judging universities across all of their ‘core missions’ including teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The adjudicators use 13 calibrated performance indicators to generate a comprehensive and balanced comparison of institutions which is used by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.

UK leads the way in world rankings

Oxford and Cambridge maintained their number one and two positions with reputable US institutions dominating the top 100 places in the list. The best ranked US university was Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) came in at 4th, and California Institute of Technology at 5th.

Japan is the most represented country on the list with 103 universities compared to the UK’s 89. India has 49 Indian Universities in the list an increase on 42 universities being included in 2017.

China and Japan on the rise

Tsinghua University in Beijing muscled the National University of Singapore out of the top institution in Asia, it rose eight places to 22nd, representing the greatest rise in the top 30.


The National University of Singapore dropped from 22nd to 23rd. Professor of higher education at the University of Oxford, Simon Marginson, said that he was “not surprised” by Tsinghua's advance.

“It’s easily the number one university in the world for high citation research in mathematics and computing – a combined field in which China has now moved well ahead of the US and, further back, Europe. It is near the top of the world, and rising fast, in physical sciences and engineering,” he said.

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Another Chinese University, Zhejiang University also rose to the 101st place this year. The university improved its scores in all five metrics.

Earlier this year Elsevier's Scopus database of scholarly research found that China's rapidly improving performance in the area if higher-education could see it match the US in terms of quality by the mid-2020s.

Here are the top 10:  

1. University of Oxford

2. University of Cambridge

3. Stanford University

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

5. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

6. Harvard University

7. Princeton University

8. Yale University

9. Imperial College London

10. University of Chicago

Lower cost universities appealing for US students

Chinese universities might become a realistic option for US students as higher education costs continue to rise in the country while a degree in China can cost as little as RMB 30,000 ($4,360) per year with accommodation setting you back only RMB 40 to 80 per day ($4 to $12) for lodging in a single room.

Earlier this year, Elsevier's Scopus database of scholarly research found that China's rapidly improving performance might see it match the US by the mid-2020s.

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