Five of the world’s Top 10 universities are in Europe

QS World University Rankings eth zurich

European universities have laid claim to half of the Top 10 spots in the latest edition of the well-respected QS World University Rankings. 

According to the landmark 20th edition of the QS World University Rankings, five of the world’s Top 10 universities are to be found in Europe. 

This globally recognised and respected annual assessment features 1,500 institutions and calls on data collected from 17.5 million academic papers as well as the opinions of more than 240,000 faculty members to reach its conclusions, making the rankings an exceptionally thorough appraisal.  


As it did in last year’s edition, the top spot goes to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a perfect 100 rating.  

Next come two historic English establishments: Cambridge University, with 99.2, followed closely by Oxford, with 98.9.  

Two more American universities take fourth and fifth place, with Harvard just beating out Stanford with scores of 98.3 and 98.1 respectively.

In sixth is Imperial College London with 97.8, and then comes the only non-British European school to get a look in in the Top 10, ETH Zürich, with a rating of 93.3.

The National University of Singapore achieves eighth place with 92.7, and is notable as the sole Asian institution to reach the upper reaches of the list.  

The Top 10 rounds out with ninth place University College London, which scored 92.4, and the University of California, Berkeley, the only public American school to get top honours, with a 90.4. 


Other European schools to rank highly include the University of Edinburgh, Université PSL Paris, the University of Manchester, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the Technical University of Munich.  

On the continent, the stand-out feature is a focus on internationalism and international research collaborations.

This is key, said QS Rankings Manager Andrew MacFarlane to Euronews: “To break down the world’s challenges, you’re going to have to work across borders, solve challenges together and be more transparent. And it’s Europe that’s really leading the way on this.” 


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Photo credit: ETH Zürich / Alessandro Della Bella