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2009 academic ranking of world universities

One month after the Times Higher Education (THE) global rankings, Shanghai Jiao Tong University released their world-wide league tables. The two rankings display some common traits, but also marked differences.

The top ten are made up of eight US and two UK universities, with Harvard, Stanford and Berkeley in the lead. In the first 100, North America reigns supreme, with 59 institutions (compared with 32 in the THE exercise). The Asia-Pacific region, the shooting star in this year’s THE hit list (a quarter of the top 100), performs much less impressively in the Shanghai league tables (9 in the leading 100). No single African or Latin American academic university can be found in the leading 100.

European institutions make up one third (32) of the top 100. 11 of these are from the UK (seven fewer than in THE). Germany gains five places in the leading 100, and France three. Small countries, such as Switzerland (3) again perform remarkably well. The Nordic countries of Europe, as usual, come out as one of the world’s leading knowledge region, with seven institutions.