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World University rankings 2014-2015

The publication of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings has become an annual ritual in the international higher education calendar, and this October a new list came to illustrate where universities stand in the global stage for the period 2014-2015. THE rankings use 13 indicators, including teaching; volume, income and reputation of research; number of citations; industry income; percentage of international students, staff and research. A particularly important component for high-ranking universities results the international dimension and the analysis found that the top 200 universities have on average 19% international students, hire 20% of staff from abroad and have at least one international co-author on 43% of published research papers. 

Unsurprisingly the California Institute for Technology has been named the world’s best institution for the fourth consecutive year, with Harvard and Oxford following in second and third place respectively. Minor shifts between the 4th and the 10th places mix a bit the positions of customary institutions such a Stanford, Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, California Berkeley, Imperial College London, Yale and Chicago University, but with no significant changes. Although the US and the UK continue to dominate the chart as the two countries with the highest number of universities in the top 200, for the rest the situation is more dynamic.  Germany earns the third place as country with highest presences, as the gain of two new universities made it possible to surpass the Netherlands. Also, for the first time a German institution, Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, entered into the top 30. However, the highest-ranked institution outside the US and the UK is once again the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, in 13th position. 

Nevertheless, probably the most dynamic area is outside Europe. Asian universities continue their unceasing run and in just one year 4 more institutions have joined the ranks of the world’s top 200. Now, almost one eighth of the top 200 universities are Asian, with Japan, Hong Kong and Turkey placing 5 universities each, China and South Korea with 3 each, Singapore with 2 and Taiwan and Thailand one respectively. Australian presence has increased as well and eight Australian colleges made it to the top 200 this year, headed by Melbourne University at number 33. Although no university from India or Africa made it to fit into the chart this year, we might expect some new entries in future editions.

Full World University rankings: Times Higher Education