Top 50 Universities in the World

Top 50 universities in the world ranked

The Academic Ranking of World Universities, ARWU, has compiled and published its latest, 2010 list of the world’s top universities ranking. First published by Shanghai Jiaotong University almost a decade ago, the list was taken over by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, a fully independent consultancy firm in 2009 to continue researching and publishing the list on annual basis.

ARWU’s 2010 ranking of world top 50 universities:

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ARWU ranking compares a massive list of over 1,000 universities and tertiary educational institutions across the world based on a number of criteria. These include Quality of Education (alumni winning Nobel Prizes & Field Medals – 10% Weightage), Quality of Faculty (statistics of highly-cited researches in 21 subject categories – 20% & staff winning Nobel Prizes & Field Medals – 20%), Research Output (papers published in Nature & Science – 20% & Papers Indexed in Science Citation Index and Social Science Citation Index – 20&) and Per Capita Performance.

Since its first publication, the ARWU’s world university ranking has attracted numerous attention, and at one point, it became almost as popular as the renowned Times Higher Education – (THE-QS) world university ranking. The THE-QS ranking is due to be published some time in October 2010.

Unlike the THE-QS, ARWU’s world university ranking does not augur well with some established universities. While it continues to gain popularity, the European continental does not really recognize the ranking. The journal Scientometrics wrote a paper indicating that the results from the ARWU university ranking could not reproduce the raw data using the method claimed by the publisher.

Still, ARWU ranking receives credible backing up and support. The Chronicle of Higher Education regards ARWU as “the most influential international ranking” (Bollag, 2006), while the Oxford University’s chancellor, Professor Chris Patten remarked that “the methodology looks fairly solid… it looks like a pretty good stab at a fair comparison.” Some researchers are also in favour of ARWU in comparison to THE-QS university ranking as they consider some ranking criteria of the latter are unfair and biased.

Four of the world’s top 10 universities are all swept by American universities, with the prestigious Harvard University leading the pack, followed by University of California Berkeley, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Cambridge University of United Kingdom breaks the US domination in 5th. Its bitter rival, Oxford, lies in 10th place. 2 Asian universities – both from Japan – the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University are placed in credible top 30, in 20th and 24th respectively.

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