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The Top 10 Universities In The World Revealed In QS World University Rankings

16/09/2015 15:37 | Updated 16 September 2015
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Every year, the QS World University Rankings publish its league table online. This year, technology-focused establishments seem to be overtaking the traditional liberal arts.

American institutions also continue to dominate the rankings, but the UK has managed to slip in a few non-Oxbridge institutions.

Here is the complete guide to the top 10 universities in the world for this academic year:

  • 1 The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    This year The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has replaced the top spot which is usually covered by Harvard. A private establishment with a student population of 12,000, it is primarily, a science and engineering institute, MIT is at the technological forefront as it is seaming with talent and a consequently great atmosphere. However whilst most aspects such as academic reputation and international faculty score a safe 100, students claim that their working environment and facilities can be limited. The campus is drearily industrial and the libraries aren’t at all impressive despite the University holding such a high status. There is a far greater focus on doing groundbreaking research and coursework often in a collaborative capacity.
  • 2 Harvard University
    Harvard is inarguably the most highly reputed on the list yet managed to miss the lead because of their considerable drop in international students despite being one of the most geographically diverse universities in the world. However the establishment’s reputation is not one to be reckoned with. Barack Obama is a noted Harvard alumnus along with John Roberts and even Natalie Portman. They have been ranked number one consistently for the last four years. The location is urban and convenient as it is near to shops and restaurants. Students tend to live in the same place for three years, which could mean a limited social circle and networking opportunities and there seems to be little interaction between students as a whole, which can be discouraging.
  • 3 The University of Cambridge
    Cambridge wins the Oxford vs Cambridge rivalry this year at the third spot on the list. With a larger student body of 30,000 than the aforementioned universities, Cambridge is generally better suited for maths and science students than Oxford. However it’s academic and employer reputation remain at 100 no matter what the course of study may be. The architecture and facilities are great however they can sometimes be limited through the collegiate system as you may not get to meet as many people as you would like. Entrance to Cambridge does come from high expectations of you though. The terms work in short and intense periods before a break during which the majority of students try to bag internships.
  • 4 The University of Stanford
    Unlike the majority, of its highly esteemed competitors, The University of Stanford is located on the West Coast of America, conveniently near Silicon Valley. This is why this is a great university for technological startups. Research, internship and work experience opportunities are rife at Stanford as they genuinely encourage you. It seems to have the perfect balance between a rigorous academia and a social side but activities here can be expensive and there are not a lot of nearby services in the local area. Stanford is also often thought to be a hop, skip and a jump away from San Fransisco but this requires a considerable amount of planning and isn’t quite ‘on your doorstep’ as many seem to claim. The dorms can also be shabby and the scheduling system is said to need updating as many miss out on opportunities such as summer internships as a result of this.
  • 5 California Institute of Technology
    California Institute of Technology, or Caltech as it is commonly known, has previously been ranked as number one by other university ranking sources. They claim that their mission is to ‘expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education’, which can’t really be argued with although students also boast about the social side of it through regular dinners and events. The arts also seem to be appreciate appropriately as there is a secret tunnel system underneath the establishment which has been preserved throughout history. However the institution has been criticized by the likes of med students who claim that core classes seem to punish your overall GPA and there aren’t enough opportunities such as hospital volunteering. Many also say that the establishment is simply too small and it can be difficult to expand your social circle.
  • 6 The University of Oxford
    Oxford is the world’s oldest university in the English speaking world and lays claim to nine centuries of continuous existence. However it is only at number six this year after being let down by it’s citations per faculty as well as its low level of international student intake which echoes criticisms of them not taking in enough students from less privileged backgrounds. Yet Oxford is renowned for its academia and is the best place to go for someone wanting to study the arts within the UK. Although there is a lot of pressure put on students and consequently Oxford has the highest suicide rate in the country.
  • 7 University College of London
    Another British University is at number seven, The University College of London. Located in the heart of London, everything is on your doorstep including job opportunities. However UCL sometimes has a cramped feeling to it with little space both indoors and outdoors which is also furthered by the large student population of 30,000. The institution recently turned 100 years old and was the first one in the country to open its doors to women and other minorities during the height of racism.
  • 8 Imperial College
    Imperial College is the UK’s very own engineering university. Recent graduates have been known to end up working for the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini as a result of excellent opportunities across the establishment. Although this is often also the result of a ‘pushy’ work ethic whereby everything must be related to work, including socialising at times. There is also said to not be enough diversity in the student body and the surrounding area can be extremely expensive.
  • 9 ETH Zurich - The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
    The only non-English speaking establishment to make it onto the list is ETH Zurich - The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, which thankfully tends to be shortened to ETH Zurich. A public university with a student body of 30,000 it became 10 years old in 2013, it is a leading player in research and education in Switzerland and worldwide. Although if you want to study in the idyllic Swiss surroundings, you will have to learn German to an advanced level (as in not just a couple of Rosetta Stone lessos) if you want your bachelors although most postgrads are conducted in English. The institution has been greatly let down by their faculty to student ratio which is of high consideration in such a large university which hosts many international students who are likely to need assistance.
  • 10 The University of Chicago
    The University of Chicago is at the number ten spot. Originally set up by the American Baptist Education Society, it has been around for over a century with its academic reputation as high as ever. It is home to the best undergraduate economics course in the world therefore one has to work hard to distinguish themselves amongst a crushing workload. Many students also claim that their professors take little interest in them as many didn’t actually come to teach but instead came to take a shot at a Nobel. Winters can be harsh, both physically and mentally and you will begin to question your decision to come here but if you soldier on through it, you are highly likely to get an excellent job straight out of university.

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