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Top best universities in the world 2011-2012


Best universities in the world 2011-2012

Everyone has been through this: trying to choose a university that best suits their needs. Fortunately, nowadays people can benefit from official rankings of the best universities in the world. One of the key annual events in the international higher education calendar is represented by the publication of the Times Higher Education Rankings, which helps undergraduates and postgraduates to choose their degree courses form a large “pallet of colors”. Moreover, academics can take informed decisions regarding their career, research teams can identify new partners and university managers can benchmark their performance and set their strategic objectives.

The 2011-2012 ranking published by Times Higher Education and powered by Thompson Reuters, comprises the best universities in the world, relying on input regarding their missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The Times Higher Education World Universities Rankings contains the first 400 universities in the world, also classifying them in terms of region and subject.

Although at its 8th edition, new approaches were developed during 10 months of open consultations, involving expert input from over 50 leading figures from 15 countries. The rankings used 13 performance indicators, grouped into five main areas:

  • Teaching – referring to the learning environment (30% of the overall ranking score)
  • Researching – volume, income and reputation (30%)
  • Citations – research influence (30%)
  • Industry income – innovation (2.5%)
  • International outlook – staff, students and research (7.5%)

During the academic year 2011-2012, the best 10 universities in the world were the following:

Rank Institution Country Overall score
1 California Institute of Technology United States 94.8
2 Harvard University United States 93.9
2 Stanford University United States 93.9
4 University of Oxford United Kingdom 93.6
5 Princeton University United States 92.9
6 University of Cambridge United Kingdom 92.4
7 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States 92.3
8 Imperial College London United Kingdom 90.7
9 University of Chicago United States 90.2
10 University of California, Berkeley United States 89.8

As it can be seen, the Top 10 is dominated by the U.S with 7 universities, the other 3 spots being occupied by universities from UK.

California Institute of Technology takes the first position, which during the previous year was occupied by Harvard. In Europe, the leading university is Oxford, ranked the 4th in the world top. Other European Universities that can be found in top 400 (besides those presented above) are ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (Switzerland), Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Germany). These are in top 50.

The Asian leading university is University of Tokyo (rank 30), followed by University of Honk Kong (34). Australia is also in the first 50 positions, with University of Melbourne (37) and Australian National University (38).

For more information regarding the top, check out the official website of Times Higher Education.


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