American universities continue to dominate top spots in QS World University Rankings 2020
Who came out on top? Source: Shutterstock

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) continues to reign supreme, claiming top spot in the latest QS World University Rankings 2020, launched yesterday (June 19).

This makes it the eighth consecutive year that this private American institution has achieved this feat.

QS notes that this years’ ranking “sees relatively little movement at the very top”; the top three positions remain unchanged from last year, with Stanford and Harvard taking second and third place respectively.

Five American institutions make up half the top 10, while four UK institutions and one Swiss university round off the list.

QS World University Rankings 2020

2020 rank 2019 rank Institution Country
1 1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) US
2 2 Stanford University US
3 3 Harvard University US
4 5 University of Oxford UK
5 4 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) US
6 7 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Switzerland
7 6 University of Cambridge UK
8 10 University College London (UCL) UK
9 8 Imperial College London UK
10 9 University of Chicago US

QS notes: “However, outside of this good performance there are worrying signs for both the US and the UK. The majority of universities from both the US and UK have fallen in rank this year. In most cases, this is because of a weaker score for international student ratio, one of the indicators used to compile the ranking.

“Whether the impact of Donald Trump and Brexit is beginning to be felt or other factors are at play is unclear. However, it may not be long before other universities begin to overtake the traditional heavyweights from the UK and US.”

Other highlights include:

  • Oxford continues to be the best university in the UK, followed by Cambridge and UCL
  • Like last year, only three Asian universities have made the top 20
  • Two Singaporean universities – Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) – are Asia’s top universities, tied at 11th place, while China’s Tsinghua University edged up a spot to 16th  

The 2020 rankings feature 1,000 universities from around the globe. Universities are evaluated based on six metrics, including: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.

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