List of the 20 Best Universities and Colleges in the World

Jun 09, 2011

Attending a top university or college is important if you want to get a good job and a quality education. Here's a list of the best universities and colleges in the world.

Top 20 Universities and Colleges in the World


1. Harvard University (

  • Country: United States

Harvard is the type of school that other universities aspire to become. It has a long-standing reputation as the best university in the world and is known for attracting talented students and faculty. Unparalleled academics and a huge endowment ensure that Harvard students have every resource they need to get a quality education.

2. University of Oxford (

  • Country: United Kingdom

The University of Oxford has been among the top universities in the world for more than nine centuries. The esteemed institution is at the forefront of learning, teaching and research and is a leader in many different fields. University of Oxford students represent more than a hundred and thirty nationalities.

3. Princeton University (

  • Country: United States

Widely considered to be one of the leading research universities, Princeton is one of the best places in the world to get an undergraduate education. It is the U.S.'s fourth-oldest college and has one of the country's best need-based financial aid programs. Princeton students benefit from a wide range of academic and extracurricular resources.

4. University of Cambridge (

  • Country: United Kingdom

Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world, and one of the most respected. The university comprises 31 colleges and over 150 departments, schools and other institutions. Only the best and brightest study at Cambridge.

5. Yale University (

  • Country: United States

Yale University is one of the United States' top undergraduate and graduate institutions and one of the best universities in the world. The faculty is made up of a diverse group of people considered to be leaders in their respective fields. Yale only accepts talented or motivated applicants, ensuring that its students are one of the school's biggest strengths.

6. University of Pennsylvania (

  • Country: United States

The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League institution that is best known for its outstanding Wharton School of Business. Penn has a world-class faculty and a history of innovation in interdisciplinary education. The students of Penn are a diverse group representing nearly every corner of the globe.

7. California Institute of Technology (

  • Country: United States

The California Institute of Technology is a world-renowned research university with a reputation for intense academics. The many generations of students and faculty have made important contributions in science and engineering fields. Cal Tech values students who are creative and intellectual.

8. Imperial College London (

  • Country: United Kingdom

Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a long-standing reputation as one of Europe's best universities. The school's strengths include a range of academic activities and cutting edge research facilities. Students who attend Imperial College London hail from more than 110 countries and are considered to be some of the brightest in the world.

9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (

  • Country: United States

Known as the East Coast Mecca of Engineering, MIT is a world-class educational institution. The nation's leading professors teach at MIT and include enough Nobel laureates to fill a small classroom. Students who attend this esteemed institution are some of the world's best and most creative.

10. University of Chicago (uchicago.ecu)

  • Country: United States

Known as one of the world's greatest intellectual communities, the University of Chicago has had a legendary impact on American higher education. Their program is frequently copied by other colleges and universities. Professors at the University of Chicago are among the best in the world and students frequently go on to become leaders in their fields.

11. University of Tokyo (

  • Country: Japan

The University of Tokyo is one of the world's leading research universities. It has maintained a reputation for excellence for nearly 150 years and is well known for its rich and varied academic environment. Students who attend the University of Tokyo frequently go on to become leaders in business, government and research.

12. Duke University (

  • Country: United States

Duke University holds a top ten place in the United States and easily ranks among the world's best universities. The private research institution is a mix of innovation and tradition and is well-known for its unparalleled academic excellence in the South. Duke students come from all over the globe and represent a variety of different backgrounds.

13. University of Hong Kong (

  • Country: China

The University of Hong Kong is the oldest and most respected tertiary institution in Hong Kong. The school recruits nearly 50 percent of their faculty from overseas and hosts the best and brightest students in Hong Kong.

14. University of California, Berkeley (

  • Country: United States

UC Berkeley is one of the top public institutions in the world. The school's academic programs are internationally recognized. The diverse student body attends 14 colleges and schools that are split into 130 academic departments and more than 80 interdisciplinary research units.

15. Columbia University (

  • Country: United States

Columbia University is among the nation's top academic institutions. The school has cutting-edge research facilities and a reputation for being one of the world's most important research centers. Columbia students have conducted groundbreaking research in the arts, science, medicine and the humanities.

16. ETH Zurich (

  • Country: Switzerland

ETH Zurich, also known as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is an internationally oriented science and technology university that is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world. The school hosts students from more than 80 nations and is associated with 21 Nobel laureates.

17. Cornell University (

  • Country: United States

Cornell University's undergraduate colleges, graduate school and professional-degree schools offer more than 70 undergraduate and 93 graduate fields of study. Cornell students are a diverse group of people who benefit from the university's strong academic programs and varied resources.

18. Dartmouth College (

  • Country: United States

Dartmouth College is a premier Ivy League institution at the forefront of higher education. The elite school is known for its first-rate undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. Dartmouth admits applicants from all over the globe, but chooses only the most promising students.

19. University of British Columbia (

  • Country: Canada

The University of British Columbia is a research and advanced learning institution with an international reputation for excellence. UBC's campus is one of the most spectacular in the world and provides both students and faculty with unbeatable resources.

20. Australian National University (

  • Country: Australia

The Australian National University is consistently ranked among the top universities in Australia and is widely considered to be among the best public research universities in the world. The ANU campus has more than 200 buildings and a high ratio of faculty to students.

Rankings are based on a variety of different factors, including academic quality, student life, student/faculty ratios, diversity of the student body, financial resources, student retention, faculty resources and career placement.

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