Brand names rule the roost

October 28, 2005

These tables show the top universities for each of the principal areas of academic life. They are based on the more detailed tables that have been published in The Times Higher throughout October.

It is not possible to collect detailed data on topics such as staff numbers or international students for each of the five areas we have analysed here.

Instead, we have listed the top-ranking universities as named by our expert peer reviewers. We also list the citations per paper for each institution in the respective subject areas.

The peer review data were collected by QS Quacquarelli Symonds and the citations by Evidence Ltd, using the Thomson Scientific Essential Science Indicators data for 1995 to 2005.

Because of the ESI's very low coverage of the arts and humanities, we have not published citations data for those disciplines.

The tables suggest that in addition to being the world's best university overall, Harvard University is top in the arts and humanities, medicine and the social sciences. In the natural sciences it comes fourth and in technology a modest 21st.

These tables suggest that Harvard, Cambridge, Berkeley, Oxford universities and other brand-name institutions are strong across the board. But they also bring out the capacity of specialist institutions such as the London School of Economics, which is second in the social sciences and ninth in the arts and humanities, and Sweden's Karolinska Institute, fourth in biomedicine.

Perhaps most striking is the broad strength of Stanford University in California, best known as the technological mainstay of Silicon Valley.

It is ranked fourth in technology, seventh in science and fifth in both biomedicine and the social sciences.

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