World university rankings 2022: What are the top 20 universities?

THE UK is home to some of the world’s best universities.

Oxford has taken the top spot for the second year running, but where else is renowned for higher education? We take a look at the top 20 The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022.


The University of Oxford ranked the number one university in the world[/caption]

1. University of Oxford, UK

The University of Oxford is ranked number one globally for the second year in a row.

In the 2022 rankings, it achieved an overall score of 95.7, up from 95.6 last year.

It is the oldest university in the English speaking world, with evidence of teaching as early as 1096.

2. California Institute of Technology, US

California Institute of Technology – known as Caltech – rose from fourth to joint second place in the latest report.

It now sits alongside the prestigious Harvard University, both scoring 95.

Caltech, in Pasadena, specialises in science and engineering studies and has won 45 Nobel Prizes.

It has a much smaller student population than other universities on the list at just 2,233 in full-time learning.

2. Harvard University, US

In 2021, Harvard University ranked number three in the world but now shares second position with Caltech.

It is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with 21,574 full time students.

Founded as Harvard College in 1636, it is the oldest higher learning institution in the US.

4. Stanford University, US

In at number four is Stanford University – a private research institution in Stanford, California.

It has dropped two places on last year’s position, but retained its glowing score of 94.9.

Despite missing out on the podium, the university, which has 16,319 full-time students, achieved the highest score of all 1,600 institutions for the number of research citations at 99.9.

5. University of Cambridge, UK

The University of Cambridge achieved a score of 94.6, putting it in joint fifth place with American university the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Much like its long-standing rival Oxford, the university is hugely historic, having been founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III in 1231.

Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university.

Competition to get in is strong, with five applications being submitted per place on average.

World university rankings 2022: What are the top 20 universities?

Cambridge University students in their gowns on graduation day at Corpus Christi College[/caption]

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US

Also in Cambridge, although this time across the Atlantic in Massachusetts, is MIT.

This “profoundly American” and well-respected university was founded to accelerate the nation’s industrial revolution.

Despite being a university primarily focused on technology and science, it offers courses in everything from aeronautics to theatre arts.

7. Princeton University, US

Another of the smaller universities on the list is Prince University, which has just 7,753 full-time students.

It has risen two places since the 2021 list, coming in at number seven for 2022.

The private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

It counts US Presidents James Madison and Woodrow Wilson, former First Lady Michelle Obama, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, and actress and model Brooke Shields among its alumni.

8. University of California, Berkeley, US

The University of California has dropped one place this year, with a score of 92.2.

The university has a total of 40,306 full-time students making it one of the largest in the top 20.

It is ranked particularly highly in other lists for chemistry, ecology and physics.

9. Yale University, US

Another Ivy League research university is at number nine – Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

It is often referred to as a member of the ‘Big Three’ – the most prestigious universities in the US – alongside Harvard and Princeton.

Notable alumni include former president George W. Bush, actress Meryl Streep, and the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

Its class of 2025 has a record-setting 1,789 students — the largest group of first-years since immediately after World War II.

10. University of Chicago, US

The University of Chicago remains in tenth place for the second year in a row and finishes off the top 10.

It prides itself as being a “culturally rich and ethnically diverse coeducational research university” which boasts 14,895 students.

This year it achieved a score of 89.8, down from 90.3 in 2021.

World university rankings 2022: What are the top 20 universities?

Universities in the UK, US, Switzerland, China and Canada make up the top 20[/caption]

11. Columbia University, US

Columbia University has shot up from seventeenth to eleventh place, beating other hugely prestigious universities.

It is one of several in New York City and has a much higher percentage of international students than other American institutions at 35 per cent – although significantly lower than many in the UK.

12. Imperial College London, UK

The third British university to make it in the top 20 is Imperial College London.

Almost 60 per cent of all students are international, with a female to male ratio of 40 to 60.

The university offers courses in everything from biochemistry with German for science to mathematics with statistics for finance.

Its website says it has a “mission to benefit society through excellence in science, engineering, medicine and business”.

13. Johns Hopkins University, US

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, makes it to thirteenth place on the 2022 list, down from twelfth last year.

It is considered the first research university in the United States.

14. University of Pennsylvania, US

Another private Ivy League research university takes the number 14 spot.

The University of Pennsylvania, known as Penn, scored 88.9 in the 2022 rankings, with 84.5 for teaching and 89.2 for research.

It is home to four undergraduate schools, 12 graduate schools and multiple coordinated dual degree, accelerated and specialised programs.

15. ETH Zurich, Switzerland

The first university outside the UK and US to make it on the list is ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

It has dropped one place since last year, but still scored an impressive 88.2 overall.

The public research university was founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists.

It focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and has 20,428 full-time students.

World university rankings 2022: What are the top 20 universities?

Stanford University in Stanford, California, ranked fourth on the list[/caption]

16. Peking University, China

Peking University in Beijing, China, is a member of the elite C9 League of Chinese universities.

It failed to make the top 20 last year, coming in at number 23, but bumped itself up to sixteenth place for 2022.

Like many of the world’s best universities, it leads the way in scientific research and teaching.

17. Tsinghua University, China

The second Chinese university in the top 20 is Tsinghua University, also in Beijing.

Tsinghua actually ranked higher than Peking last year at twentieth position, but was pipped for 2022.

The large university has a total of 38,221 students with a female to male ratio of 34 to 66.

It is ranked number one in Asia by the THE Asia University Rankings.

18. University of Toronto, Canada

The University of Toronto is the first Canadian institution on the world’s best list.

Located on the grounds that surround the city’s Queen’s Park, it has retained its position from last year.

18. University College London, UK

Joint with UToronto in eighteenth place is University College London, or UCL.

UCL has dropped two places from last year’s list, but remains a popular choice among those wanting to study education and architecture and the built environment.

Like other London universities, it has a high population of international students, with 57 per cent coming to study from overseas.

20. University of California, Los Angeles, US

The University of California, Los Angeles, rounds off the top 20 universities in the world.

With 42,054 full-time students, the university is one of the largest to feature on the list.

The top six most popular undergraduate subjects at the school are biology, business economics, political science, psychology, psychobiology and economics.

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