The annual THE rankings, which UK universities and science minister David Willetts said are "fast becoming something of a fixture in the academic calendar", will be published live online at 21.00 BST on 3 October.
A special rankings print supplement will also be published with the 4 October edition of THE, and the results will be available on a free interactive iPhone application.
This year is the ninth year that THE has published a global university ranking, but the third year of a new more comprehensive ranking system developed in partnership with Thomson Reuters.
After dramatic methodological improvement in 2010, and further refinement in 2011, the 2012-13 World University Rankings will employ exactly the same methodology as the 2011-12 rankings, allowing for stable year-on-year comparisons.
The THE rankings employ 13 separate performance indicators, making them the only global university rankings to examine all the core missions of the modern global university - research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity.
The 13 indicators are grouped into five broad headings:
• Teaching - the learning environment (worth 30 per cent of the overall ranking score)
• Research - volume, income and reputation (30 per cent)
• Citations - research influence (30 per cent)
• International outlook - staff, students and research (7.5 per cent)
• Industry income - innovation (2.5 per cent)
The rankings data is normalised to ensure that arts, humanities and social sciences are placed on an equal footing with science. To measure research influence, our data providers Thomson Reuters examine 50 million research citations from 6 million journal articles.
The 2012-13 World University Rankings will also use the results of the annual invitation-only Academic Reputation Survey, carried out by Thomson Reuters and Ipsos in Spring 2012. The survey attracted more than 16,500 responses from experienced senior academics all over the world, making it the largest exercise of its kind in the world.
The 3 October release will include the official world top 200, a "best of the rest" list of the 200 institutions immediately outside the top 200, ranked in bands, and six top 50 subject tables: engineering and technology; social sciences; physical sciences; life sciences; arts and humanities; and clinical, preclinical and health subjects.
The World University Rankings are the main release of a portfolio of THE university rankings, which include the March World Reputation Rankings and the May THE 100 Under 50, a list of the top universities under 50 years old.