The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022, released on 2 September 2021, has revealed the world’s top universities.
In total, 99 countries or regions are represented in the ranking and 27 of these have at least one university in the top 200. A further 452 universities are listed with “reporter” status, meaning that they provided data but did not meet our eligibility criteria to receive a rank.
Both in terms of the overall ranking and the highest positions, the US and the UK are well represented. Japan and China are among the best-represented countries in the ranking but they fall behind other nations, such as Germany, Australia and the Netherlands, for universities in the top 200.
The results are calculated using 13 performance indicators underlying five metrics: research, teaching, research influence, industry income and international outlook. The full methodology can be found here.
To be ranked in the Prestigious World University Rankings; Universities must publish at least 1,000 papers in reputable publications in a five-year period – between 2016 and 2020 for the 2022 rankings.
Universities are also excluded if they only teach in a single subject area, or if they don’t teach undergraduates.
Find the world’s top universities in 2022 using the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings data
One of the most prestigious universities in the UK has come out on top for the sixth consecutive year.
The University of Oxford is the UK’s oldest university and one of the best known in the world.
There are more than 20,000 students at Oxford, with a roughly equal number of undergraduates and postgraduates.
Admission is extremely competitive; on average the university receives five applications for every place.
The university employs staff from just under 100 countries and foreign citizens make up about 40 per cent of the student and academic body.
One of the most striking features of the California Institute of Technology or Caltech is its small size; only about 1,000 undergraduates and 1,250 postgraduates are enrolled there. The college has a high staff-to-student ratio.
Caltech has six academic divisions with a strong emphasis on science and technology teaching and research. The university has a competitive admissions process ensuring that only a small number of the most gifted students are admitted.
The institution was founded as Throop University in 1891 and assumed its current name in 1920.
Caltech’s mascot is a beaver, “nature’s engineer”.
Among the unusual features of the institution are the customary cookie break taken every Thursday by physicists and their students, and the university’s status as a distributor of olive oil.
Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is also part of the Ivy League, a group of eight highly regarded private universities in the US.
Established in 1636, it is the oldest university in the country.
The institution is connected to more than 45 Nobel laureates, at least 30 heads of state and 48 Pulitzer prizewinners. Thirteen US presidents have honorary degrees from the institution; the most recent of these was awarded to John F. Kennedy in 1956.
Stanford University has produced many entrepreneurs and start-ups and was partly responsible for the development of the surrounding Silicon Valley.
Many students go on to achieve great things; 17 Nobel laureates are affiliated with Stanford.
The large campus is home to 97 per cent of undergraduates and nearly 700 university buildings, museums, gardens and recreational centres.
There are just under 7,000 undergraduates and 9,000 postgraduates at the university, with a 7:4 student-to-staff ratio.
Research at Stanford has a $1.22 billion budget and more than 5,000 of the projects are externally funded.
The University of Cambridge climbs back into the top five this year, going up one place from last year’s number six.
Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research institution. Its 800-year history makes it the fourth oldest university in the world and the second oldest university in the English-speaking world.
The university is split into 31 colleges, where students receive small group teaching sessions known as supervisions.
In total, 92 affiliates of the university have been awarded Nobel Prizes, covering every category.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in the mid-19th century and has always endeavoured to provide financial aid to students on a needs basis.
MIT is organised into six separate schools: architecture and planning; engineering; humanities, arts and social sciences; management; science; and computing.
The first architecture classes in the US were taught at MIT.
The campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, includes 18 student residences, many gardens and public works of art.
Admission to the university is extremely selective. The university lays claim to 85 Nobel Laureates, 58 National Medal of Science winners, 29 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners and 45 MacArthur Fellows. Among its alumni is Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations
Princeton is one of the oldest universities in the US and is regarded as one of the world’s most illustrious higher education institutions.
Founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, it was officially renamed Princeton University in 1896 in honour of the area where it is based, opening its famous graduate school in 1900.
Acclaimed for its commitment to teaching, the Ivy League institution offers residential accommodation to all of its undergraduates across all four years of study, with 98 per cent of undergraduates living on campus.
Its student body is relatively small, with fewer than 10,000 in total, and international students make up 12 per cent of undergraduates.
Princeton is also one of the world’s foremost research universities with connections to more than 40 Nobel laureates, 17 winners of the National Medal of Science and five recipients of the National Humanities Medal.
Faculty members who have been awarded a Nobel prize in recent years include chemists Tomas Lindahl and Osamu Shimomura, economists Paul Krugman and Angus Deaton and physicists Arthur McDonald and David Gross.
Notable alumni who have won a Nobel prize include the physicists Richard Feynman and Robert Hofstadter and chemists Richard Smalley and Edwin McMillan.
Princeton has also educated two US presidents, James Madison and Woodrow Wilson, who was also the university’s president prior to entering the White House. Other distinguished graduates include Michelle Obama, actors Jimmy Stewart and Brooke Shields, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad.
The University of California, Berkeley, a public research university, is regarded as one of the most prestigious state universities in the US. Part of the University of California System, it was founded in 1868.
Berkeley’s creation stemmed from a vision in the state constitution of a university that would “contribute even more than California’s gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations”.
Berkeley’s colours of blue and gold were chosen in 1873 – blue representing not just the California sky and ocean but also the Yale graduates who helped to found the institution; gold the “Golden State” of California.
The university is located in San Francisco’s Bay Area, where it is home to about 27,000 undergraduate students and 10,000 postgraduate students.
Berkeley faculty have won 19 Nobel prizes, mostly in physics, chemistry and economics. Recent winners include Saul Perlmutter, who won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics for leading a team that discovered the accelerating expansion of the universe, suggesting the existence of a form of dark energy that comprises 75 per cent of the universe; and George Akerlof, who won the 2001 Prize for Economics for demonstrating how markets malfunction when buyers and sellers have access to different information.
Notable alumni include novelist and journalist Jack London, Oscar-winning actor Gregory Peck, former prime minister and president of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, author Joan Didion and Women’s World Cup-winning US footballer Alex Morgan.
Berkeley has a tradition as a centre of political activism. During the 1960s and 1970s, the campus was a hotbed for student protests against the Vietnam War.
Attractions on campus include a Botanic Garden established in 1890 and the 60,000-capacity California Memorial Stadium used by the university’s sports teams.
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university which is the third-oldest higher education institution in the US.
Yale traces its history back to 1701, when it was founded as the Collegiate School in Saybrook, Connecticut, which moved to New Haven 15 years later.
In 1718 it was renamed Yale College, in honour of Welsh benefactor Elihu Yale, and it was the first university in the US to award a PhD, in 1861.
Yale’s central campus covers 260 acres of New Haven, and includes buildings dating back to the mid-18th century.
The university is made up of 14 schools, and students follow a liberal arts curriculum, covering humanities and arts, sciences and social sciences before choosing a departmental major. Students also receive instruction in writing skills, quantitative reasoning and foreign languages.
Unusually for the US, Yale students are housed in residential colleges on the model of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. There are 12 historic colleges, and construction of two more started in 2014.
Around one in five students is international, and more than half of all undergraduates receive scholarships or grants from the university.
Yale has an endowment that exceeds $25 billion (£17.3 billion), making it the second-richest educational institution in the world, and a library that holds more than 15 million volumes, making it the third-largest in the US.
Yale alumni and sports teams are known as “Bulldogs”, and many Yale graduates have gone on to notable careers in politics, the arts and science.
Four Yale graduates signed the American Declaration of Independence, and the university has educated five US presidents: William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Twenty Yale alumni have won Nobel prizes, including economist Paul Krugman, while 32 have won the Pulitzer Prize.
Other notable alumni include US secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and actress Meryl Streep.
Yale’s campus includes many famous buildings, such as the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Peabody Museum of Natural History and the Sterling Memorial Library.
New Haven is a city of about 130,000 people, located two and a half hours south of Boston, and an hour and a half north of New York. It has many shops, museums and restaurants, and is close to beaches, hiking trails and historic attractions.
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.
An empowering education
In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas.
Students in the College develop critical, analytical, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary Core curriculum.
Graduate students across five divisions and six professional schools test their ideas with other UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.
Distinguished alumni and faculty
By uniting diverse faculty and students for more than a century, the University of Chicago has fostered one of the most unique—and decorated—intellectual communities in the world. Faculty, researchers, and alumni have earned 90 Nobel Prizes and 50 MacArthur “genius grants”—along with numerous other national medals and fellowships.
Our creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.
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