Ranking: World’s Best Universities For 2024

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University of Oxford has topped the Times Higher Education’s 2024 World University Ranking.

For the eighth straight year, The University of Oxford has topped the Times Higher Education’s (THE) World University Ranking released Wednesday (September 27).

While the top five universities in the ranking are the same as last year’s ranking, there is considerable jostling between them. Stanford University moved up one spot from 2023’s ranking to snag the second-place spot in 2024. Massachusetts Institute of Technology rose two spots to No. 3 while Harvard University fell two spots to No. 4. University of Cambridge rounded out the top five, falling two spots.

United States schools dominated the top, snagging eight of 10 spots while United Kingdom Schools claimed the other two. See table below.

METHODOLOGY

This the 20th edition of London-based THE’s World University Rankings.  (THE acquired Poets&Quants in April.)

For 2024, it ranked 1,904 research universities across 108 countries and regions. It also significantly updated its methodology, adding five performance indicators, increasing from 13 to 18. Indicators are grouped into five categories: Teaching (given a 29.5% weight), Research Environment (29%), Research Quality (30%), Industry (4%), and International Outlook (7.5%).

To collect data and calculate its metrics, THE uses a combination of its Academic Reputation Survey of expert scholars, school submitted data, and other publicly available data. This year’s ranking analyzed more than 134 million citations across 16.5 million research publications, according to THE’s ranking methodology, and included survey responses from 68,402 scholars.

Read THE’s full methodology here, and see the full list of indicators in each category in the THE illustration below.

Source: 2024 THE World University Rankings

RISE OF ASIAN INSTITUTIONS

United States universities continue to enjoy an out-sized representation on the ranking. There are 169 US institutions on the total list, including 36 in the top 100 and 56 in the top 200.

The United Kingdom has 11 schools in the top 100 while Germany has 8, China has 7, and the Netherlands has 6.
Meanwhile, across the full list of ranked schools, India has taken over China for the fourth most-represented region. It has 91 institutions in the ranking compared to China’s 86.

However, THE notes that year-over-year, US and UK schools are losing ground to other regions, particularly in Asia. THE analyzed six years of data and found that the average rank of US institutions fell from 296 to 348 over that time. UK’s average dropped from 451 to 477.

Several Asian countries, on the other hand, are gaining ground.

“China is edging closer to the top 10 and now has two institutions in the top 15 for the first time. Tsinghua and Peking universities both overtake the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University to rank 12th and 14th respectively,” writes Ellie Bothwell, rankings editor at THE.

“Meanwhile, Japan’s University of Tokyo now outperforms the University of Edinburgh, King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science, after rising 10 places to 29th.”

One reason US and UK schools are waning is a decreased level of research funding in relation to other regions, the THE says.

In the US, the share of university income for research has dropped on average 2.9% (from 18.5% to 15.6%) since 2019. It dropped 1.3% at UK institutions (14.7% to 13.4%). In the same timeframe, the average share has increased in China and South Korea.

Source: 2024 THE World University Rankings

However, US institutions still have the highest amount of income per academic at $1.34 million, 42% more than in 2019. Germany comes in second at $1.33 million (up 23%).

See Times Higher Education’s full 2024 World University Ranking here.

NEXT PAGE: How the top 100 universities score in teaching, research, industry and international outlook



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