Interested in Studying Abroad? Don't Miss the 2010 World University Rankings

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Get the Best Education - In the World

Studying abroad can be fun, educational and good for your career - a recent study by the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) found that understanding cultural diversity and 'the global context of different situations and decisions' are among the top qualities sought by today's employers. But it's a lot harder to make an informed school choice when your options are across the globe! Enter the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Today marks the release of the THE 2010-2011 international university rankings. Although this isn't the first year THE has ranked colleges and universities worldwide, this year's rankings represent 'the most detailed and sophisticated attempt ever' at comparing global institutions of higher education. They're the first project to draw from the (just-released) Reuters Global Institutional Profiles, which offers unprecedentedly fine-grained institutional data. Furthermore, while this year's reputation survey included over 13,000 carefully selected and controlled participants, they dropped the weight of the reputation indicator in order to offer a ranking based primarily on 'hard, objective evidence.' The resulting tables offer 13 separate indicators, as compared with only 6 in last year's ranking system, and cover five major categories:

  1. Teaching and the learning environment
  2. Citation impact, which measures research influence
  3. The volume, income and reputation of institutional research
  4. The 'international mix' of staff and students
  5. Industry income, which measures the transfer of knowledge from academe to the business world

The changes in this year's methodology led to a fair amount of movement both up and down the rankings. Countries such as Canada, China and South Korea, which invest in higher education to stimulate their economies, all did better this year. Canada has nine institutions in the top 200, and for the first time, China overtook Japan for the most institutions in the top 200 at a total of six. Meanwhile, the weight placed on the 'international mix' dropped the number of Australian universities in the top 200 down to seven, with only two in the top 50.

Still, like last year, North America and the UK dominated the top 20, with technology-focused universities in the U.S. performing the best.

Harvard University

Top 20 Universities in the World

Note: Universities that tied are marked with an *.

1. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

2. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

4. Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

5. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

*6. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

*6. Oxford University, Oxford UK

8. University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

9. Imperial College London, London, UK

10. Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

11. University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA

12. University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

13. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

14. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

*15. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

*15. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

17. University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

18. Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

19. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

20. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Source: Times Higher Education with data supplied by Thomson Reuters

You can get the overall rankings, as well as the breakdown by region and subject, over at the ''Times Higher Education'' website. And for those of you with iPhones, there's even an app available in the iTunes store that contains rankings data for the top 400 academic institutions in the world. Get your rankings on the go!

Have you studied abroad? Tweet your experiences and recommendations @Studydotcom.

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