01 Oct 2015   |   News

University rankings: European universities up in latest league table

ETH Zurich continues its fine rise across all major league tables, while US universities fall down a bit

Europe has a record number of universities in the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings top 200, with 105 compared to 87 last year.

Switzerland’s ETH Zurich is the first non-UK and non-US institution to make the top 10 for a decade, capping a fine year for the university, which has found its position rising in all major university rankings. In the QS World Universities 2015/16 rankings announced earlier this month, it was also in the top 10.

Germany has 20 universities in the top 200, a rise of eight since last year, while the Netherlands has 12, up from 11. There are five from France, while Spain and Italy each have three.

Holding on to first place for the fifth consecutive year is the California Institute of Technology.

UK universities hold firm too: Oxford climbs to second place, while Cambridge and Imperial College London also make the top 10, in fourth and eighth places respectively.

While still the world leader in elite universities, the US now has one less institute in the top 10. The rankings suggest waning overall US strength in education: it has 63 universities in the top 200, down from 74 last year, and 77 the year before.

In Asia, the picture is mixed. The rankings show a steady performance from China, with the country claiming 37 institutions in the top 800, including two in the top 50.

Japan and South Korea meanwhile both fall down the list. Japan has just two institutions in the world top 200, compared with five last year, while South Korea has just one in the top 100, down from three.

Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education world university rankings, said, "The UK is a stand-out performer in this year's rankings, boasting an impressive 78 institutions overall, with 34 of these sitting in the top 200 ….. Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, are also performing well …”

A university's strengths in research, teaching, academic reputation, and the number of international staff and students all influence the rankings.

Full table here.

Top 20 institutions

  1. California Institute of Technology, US
  2. University of Oxford, UK
  3. Stanford University, US
  4. University of Cambridge, UK
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
  6. Harvard University, US
  7. Princeton University, US
  8. Imperial College London, UK
  9. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
  10. University of Chicago, US
  11. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, US
  12. Yale University, US
  13. University of California, Berkeley, US
  14. University College London, UK
  15. Columbia University, US
  16. University of California, Los Angeles, US
  17. University of Pennsylvania, US
  18. Cornell University, Ithaca, US
  19. University of Toronto, Canada
  20. Duke University, Durham, US

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