Top Universities Worldwide

In this article, we have given the list of top universities in the world. These universities are selected on various parameters that measure their global reputation, academic and teaching performance, and knowledge transfer and research opportunities. Students can use this list of top universities in the world while planning for their higher education. Below we can see a list of Top 10 Universities worldwide:

Harvard University

Harvard University

  Harvard University, established in 1636, is the oldest and one of the most famous institutions in the United States. A statue of John Harvard, College’s first patron, stands in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard and is perhaps the University’s best-known landmark. This Ivy League university carries its legacy from over 375 years not only in the United States but globally as well. Harvard currently has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master’s in the mid-1600s to an enrollment of more than 20,000-degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

Harvard has a diverse student population from over 50 states and 80 countries and currently more than 36,000 students are studying at Harvard out of which 6,699 are enrolled in Harvard College, 13,120 as graduate and professional students, and 16,193 in Harvard Extension School. Harvard has the oldest academic library in the world consisting of 20.4 million volumes, 180,000 serial titles, an estimated 400 million manuscript items, 10 million photographs, 124 million archived web pages, and 5.4 terabytes of born-digital archives and manuscripts. Approximately 70 percent of the students receive some sort of financial aid at Harvard, and about 60 percent receive need-based scholarships and pay an average of $12,000 per year.

Harvard has an alumni base of more than 2.79 lakh in the US and 59,000 spread across 202 countries. It has about 2,400 world-class faculty members and more than 10,400 academic appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals. Harvard has 48 Nobel Laureates, 32 heads of state, 48 Pulitzer Prize winners who have been affiliated as students, faculty, or researchers.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT as it is famously known was established in the year 1861 with the sole objective to galvanise America’s Industrial Revolution. MIT functions under the motto “Mind and Hand” and during its 150 years of journey has always prioritized the dissemination of advanced knowledge in the field of science and technology which can be useful for America and the world. From having modest beginnings, MIT now holds the 1st rank in the list of best universities for bachelor’s engineering and technology courses in the world.

The MIT campus is spread across an area of 166 acres and is one of the most technologically-advanced college campuses in the world. Built along the Charles River basin in Cambridge, the historic campus of MIT houses five different schools of Engineering, Architecture & Planning, Arts & Social Sciences, Management & Science and Humanities. There is a wide spectrum of courses available at MIT and the campus is home to students pursuing bachelors, masters, well as doctoral and research education in various fields. Apart from engineering, MIT is also known for its Business programmers.

Innovation is at the core of education at MIT, which has helped the institute become the hub of leading scientific breakthroughs and technological advancements of our generation. The accomplishments of MIT graduates have had global impacts and helped create millions of jobs in the USA and the world. Over 139,000 MIT has been the alma mater of some of the most prominent personalities in their fields. Notable alumni of MIT include Richard Feynman, Kofi Anna, and Buzz Aldrin among many others. MIT has produced 90 Nobel Laureates, 59 National Science medallists, 29 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners, 75 McArthur Fellows, and 15 A.M Turing Award winners.

As a university that attracts some of the most talented minds from around the world, the student body of MIT is diverse in more ways than one. In addition to the diversity of culture, a student at MIT is exposed to a variety of thoughts, opinions, beliefs, thought processes, and much more that contributes to building an inquisitive and open mindset. This is why the brainpower generated by MIT is in high demand and some of the leading companies of the world visit MIT for hiring for top positions in their organizations.

Stanford University

Stanford University

  Stanford University was founded in 1885 and is located in California’s Bay Area, around 30 miles south of San Francisco. More than half of the student body studies at the graduate level. Seven schools comprise the university, many of which are highly ranked for graduate-level studies. Three of the schools offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees: humanities and sciences; earth sciences; and engineering. The business, law, education, and medical schools offer only graduate-level degrees. Stanford’s academic calendar is based on a quarter system and the language of instruction is English.

Around 8 percent of the undergraduate student body is international, as is around 30 percent of the graduate student population. Housing is guaranteed for four years for undergraduates who enter as freshmen, and more than 90 percent of undergrads live on campus. Stanford also guarantees first-year housing for new graduate students. More than 60 percent of graduate students live on campus, as well as around 30 percent of faculty members. Stanford’s library system, which supports 20 libraries, comprises more than 9.3 million physical volumes. Research funding at Stanford has topped $1 billion, including funds from the federal government for projects at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy lab operated by Stanford. Scientists from all over the world – around 3,400 of them annually – take advantage of SLAC’s facilities. Upward of 1,000 scientific papers based on research conducted at the lab are published each year.

 California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology

 The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution, where extraordinary faculty and students seek answers to complex questions, discover new knowledge, lead innovation, and transform the future. Caltech has six academic divisions with a strong emphasis on science and technology teaching and research. The university has a competitive admissions process ensuring that only a small number of the most gifted students are admitted.

Caltech has a high research output and alongside many high-quality facilities, both on campus and globally. This includes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Caltech Seismological Laboratory and the International Observatory Network. The alumni and faculty of Caltech have been awarded 39 Nobel Prizes, one Fields Medal, six Turing Awards, and 71 United States National Medal of Science or Technology. Four chief scientists of the US Air Force have also attended the institution. The campus is located in Pasadena, California, approximately 11 km away from downtown Los Angeles. The school’s official mascot is a beaver, paying tribute to nature’s engineer. Caltech students are also well-known for playing pranks, with one of the most famous pranks including changing the “Hollywood” sign to read Caltech, by covering up parts of the letters.

University of Oxford

University of Oxford

  Though known to be teaching students in 1096, the actual foundation date of Oxford University is not known. It is located in and around the city center of Oxford. The University has all the affiliations, which makes it a famous university of the world, like IARU (International Alliance of Research Universities), EUROPAEUM, EUA, Golden Triangle, G5, LERU, SES. The university is ranked at first position by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. QS World University Ranking 2021 ranks it at number five. The university is also awarded the TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) – Gold.

The university follows a collegiate system, comprising 39 colleges to constitute the massive university, and has no main campus, and has 30 colleges and halls spread across the city. The university has the world’s oldest university museum and the largest university press. A wide range of programs from archaeology to chemistry, classics, engineering, medicine, law, theology, and religion are offered by the university.

The university is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, the G5, the League of European Research Universities, as well as the International Alliance of Research Universities. The who’s who of the world are counted among the alumni with 28 PMs of the UK, 72 Nobel Prize Laureates as well as international leaders, Scientists, etc.  Notable alumni include Boris Johnson, British PM, Bill Clinton, former President of USA, Stephen Hawking, the Physicist, Adam Smith, the economist, Oscar Wild, the author.  

As many as 24,515 students enrolled at the university in 2019. Roughly 10, 000 (40%) of the enrolled students were international students from 162 countries. About 47.8% of the enrolled students are women. As many as 412, Indian students enrolled at the university in 2019. The university has an employability rate of 90% where students get jobs in the first six months post successful completion of graduation. They start working at good mid managerial or high managerial positions with companies such as Oracle, Deloitte, PCI, Coca Cola, HSBC, Bosch, IBM, Abbott and many more giants of the respective industries hire from Oxford University.

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

   ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities in science and technology and is known for its cutting-edge research and innovation. It was established in 1855 as the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School, and a century and a half later the university can count 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner as alumni, including the great Albert Einstein himself. The university, referred to in English as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, has 16 departments that offer academic education and conduct scientific research in subjects ranging from engineering and architecture to chemistry and physics.

Education at ETH Zurich combines solid theory with practical application, and most degree programs build on strong mathematical foundations. For undergraduates, the main teaching language is German, while most master’s programs and doctoral studies are in English.

ETH students like to exercise their bodies as well as their minds, and there are various sports events held on campus, of which the largest is an annual SOLA relay race in 14 sections, taking place over a total distance of 140 kilometers. More than 900 teams have been known to take part at once in the annual spectacle.

Since the 1880s, students have also been able to show off their best moves at the Polyball, a classic ball event featuring a live orchestra and famous national singers, in which 10,000 dancers, music-lovers, and partygoers descend on ETH’s extensively decorated main building for what is usually an unforgettable night.

University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is the world’s fourth oldest and respected university with its origin goes back to 1209. The research university is the second-oldest English-speaking University. Cambridge specializes in offering high-quality education in social sciences, arts, humanities and sciences, and engineering. It is extremely difficult to get into Cambridge and share the experience of studying with some of the brightest minds.

Cambridge is widely acknowledged as a vibrant place to be a student. On the academic side, the university is home to over 100 libraries, which hold more than 15 million books in total. There are also nine world-renowned arts, scientific and cultural museums such as Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum, which are open to the public throughout the year, as well as a botanical garden.

Extracurricular activities give you the chance to get involved with anything from the university’s renowned student drama societies, which spawned the likes of the comedy group Monty Python, to music, politics, and hundreds of other clubs and societies. The sports scene at Cambridge is huge too, with state-of-the-art facilities and over 80 sports on offer with teams for novices and experts alike.

With its reputation for academic excellence and traditional scholarly values, the University of Cambridge often ranks among the very top universities in the world for teaching, research, and international outlook. The university has educated eminent mathematicians, scientists, politicians, lawyers, philosophers, writers, actors, and heads of many organizations.

University of California

University of California

The University of California, Berkeley, a public research university, is regarded as one of the most prestigious state universities in the US. Part of the University of California System, it was founded in 1868. Berkeley’s creation stemmed from a vision in the state constitution of a university that would “contribute even more than California’s gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations”.

Berkeley’s colors of blue and gold were chosen in 1873 – blue representing not just the California sky and ocean but also the Yale graduates who helped to found the institution; gold the “Golden State” of California. The university is located in San Francisco’s Bay Area, where it is home to about 27,000 undergraduate students and 10,000 postgraduate students.

Berkeley faculty have won 19 Nobel prizes, mostly in physics, chemistry, and economics. Recent winners include Saul Perlmutter, who won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics for leading a team that discovered the accelerating expansion of the universe, suggesting the existence of a form of dark energy that comprises 75 percent of the universe; and George Akerlof, who won the 2001 Prize for Economics for demonstrating how markets malfunction when buyers and sellers have access to different information.

The Golden Bear is the symbol of Berkeley’s sports teams. Berkeley’s sporting prowess was demonstrated at the 2012 Olympics in London when its graduates won 17 medals – 11 gold, one silver, and five bronze. If Berkeley had been a country, it would have ranked joint sixth in the gold medal table, alongside France and Germany.

 Imperial College London

Imperial College London

Imperial is based in South Kensington in London, in an area known as ‘Albertopolis’, Prince Albert and Sir Henry Cole’s 19th-century vision for an area where science and the arts would come together. As a result, Imperial’s neighbors include a number of world-leading cultural organizations including the Science, Natural History, and Victoria and Albert museums; the Royal Colleges of Art and Music; the English National Ballet; and the Royal Albert Hall, where all of their students also graduate.

There is plenty of green space too, including two Royal Parks (Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens) within 10 minutes’ walk of campus. Travel to and from the area is also really easy as it’s served by three Tube lines and many bus routes.

One of the most distinctive elements of an Imperial education is that students join a community of world-class researchers. The cutting edge and globally influential nature of this research are what Imperial is best known for. It’s the focus on the practical application of their research – particularly in addressing global challenges – and the high level of interdisciplinary collaboration that makes their research so effective. Read more about their research impact here. Imperial is one of the most international universities in the world, with 59% of its student body in 2018-19 being non-UK citizens and more than 140 countries are currently represented on campus. Meanwhile, the College’s staff, like their students, are diverse in their cultural backgrounds, nationalities, and experiences.

Yale University

Yale University

Yale University is a private Ivy League research university that is the third-oldest higher education institution in the US. Yale traces its history back to 1701 when it was founded as the Collegiate School in Saybrook, Connecticut, which moved to New Haven 15 years later. In 1718 it was renamed Yale College, in honour of Welsh benefactor Elihu Yale, and it was the first university in the US to award a Ph.D., in 1861. Yale’s central campus covers 260 acres of New Haven and includes buildings dating back to the mid-18th century.

The university is made up of 14 schools, and students follow a liberal arts curriculum, covering humanities and arts, sciences, and social sciences before choosing a departmental major. Students also receive instruction in writing skills, quantitative reasoning, and foreign languages. Unusually for the US, Yale students are housed in residential colleges on the model of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. There are 12 historic colleges, and the construction of two more started in 2014.

Around one in five students is international, and more than half of all undergraduates receive scholarships or grants from the university. Yale has an endowment that exceeds $25 billion (£17.3 billion), making it the second-richest educational institution in the world, and a library that holds more than 15 million volumes, making it the third-largest in the US.

Four Yale graduates signed the American Declaration of Independence, and the university has educated five US presidents: William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Twenty Yale alumni have won Nobel prizes, including economist Paul Krugman, while 32 have won the Pulitzer Prize. Yale’s campus includes many famous buildings, such as the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the Sterling Memorial Library.

New Haven is a city of about 130,000 people, located two and a half hours south of Boston, and an hour and a half north of New York. It has many shops, museums, and restaurants, and is close to beaches, hiking trails, and historic attractions.


  It is important that students identify what factors they value most in order to make the right choice. While we’ve showcased some of the top 10 universities worldwide in this post, there are many others available. You can find plenty more universities around the world where you can study. So choose the best university based on the degree which you want to study and explore your Knowledge.

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