Best ‘Golden Age’ universities 2020

The Golden Age ranking uses Times Higher Education data to cast a spotlight on the best universities established for more than 50 years, but less than 80 years

June 24 2020
golden age ranking

The universities in the Times Higher Education “Golden Age” ranking were established between 1945 and 1967. The ranking takes its name from what was a Golden Age in global higher education, characterised by rapid university expansion and increasing investment in research. 

Because of the age of these universities (older than 50 years old but under 80), they fall outside the parameters of our overall Young University Rankings that looks at institutions under 50 years of age. They make up a unique group of higher education institutions that have embedded academic practices but haven’t been around for hundreds of years. 

There are two appearances in the top 10 from the University of California System, with the University of California, San Diego topping the list and the University of California, Irvine in ninth place. The US has 22 universities in the ranking overall. 

The UK’s sole representative in the top 10 is the University of Warwick. However, the UK has a strong presence in the ranking with 24 universities making the list, including the Universities of York, Surrey and Exeter.  


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India is another well-represented country in the ranking, with 15 institutions, owing to the creation of multiple technology universities in the country during this time period. 

Many of the universities in this ranking score highly for teaching and research. 

This ranking has been released in conjunction with the Young University Rankings, which lists the best universities under 50 years old. This ranking was produced using the same methodology as the World University Rankings, which can be viewed here.


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Golden Age university ranking 2020: Top 100

Golden Age Rank 2020 University Country/region Foundation year
1 University of California, San Diego United States 1960
2 Australian National University Australia 1946
3 Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 1963
4 Seoul National University South Korea 1946
5 UNSW Sydney Australia 1949
6 Monash University Australia 1958
7 University of Warwick United Kingdom 1965
8 University of Science and Technology of China China 1958
9 University of California, Irvine United States 1965
10 Free University of Berlin Germany 1948
11 University of Southampton United Kingdom 1952
12 University of York United Kingdom 1963
13 Lancaster University United Kingdom 1964
14 Ulm University Germany 1967
=15 University of Exeter United Kingdom 1955
=15 University of Sussex United Kingdom 1961
17 University of Mannheim Germany 1946
18 University of California, Santa Cruz United States 1965
=19 Eindhoven University of Technology Netherlands 1956
=19 University of Gothenburg Sweden 1954
21 Tel Aviv University Israel 1956
22 University of East Anglia United Kingdom 1963
23 Newcastle University United Kingdom 1963
24 Macquarie University Australia 1964
25 University of Calgary Canada 1966
26 University of Bergen Norway 1946
27 University of South Florida (Tampa) United States 1956
28 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia 1967
29 University of Konstanz Germany 1966
30 University of Dundee United Kingdom 1967
31 Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Russian Federation 1946
32 University of Waterloo Canada 1957
33 Brandeis University United States 1948
34 University of Twente Netherlands 1961
35 University of California, Riverside United States 1954
36 University of Illinois at Chicago United States 1965
37 University of Surrey United Kingdom 1966
=38 Flinders University Australia 1966
=38 University of Navarra Spain 1952
=40 University of Essex United Kingdom 1964
=40 Simon Fraser University Canada 1965
=42 University of Bath United Kingdom 1966
=42 Ruhr University Bochum Germany 1965
44 University of Southern Denmark Denmark 1966
45 La Trobe University Australia 1967
46 University of Oulu Finland 1958
47 Heriot-Watt University United Kingdom 1966
48 Stony Brook University United States 1957
49 University of Trento Italy 1962
50 University of Newcastle Australia 1965
51 Nova Southeastern University United States 1964
52 Huazhong University of Science and Technology China 1952
53 Kyung Hee University South Korea 1949
54 University of Malaya Malaysia 1949
55 Umeå University Sweden 1965
56 University of Stirling United Kingdom 1967
57 University of Kent United Kingdom 1965
58 Taipei Medical University Taiwan 1960
59 Loughborough University United Kingdom 1966
60 Brunel University London United Kingdom 1966
61 Catholic University of Portugal Portugal 1967
62 York University Canada 1959
63 University of Missouri-St Louis United States 1963
64 City, University of London United Kingdom 1966
65 University of Strathclyde United Kingdom 1964
66 Indian Institute of Technology Delhi India 1961
=67 Quaid-i-azam University Pakistan 1965
=67 University of Victoria Canada 1963
69 Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur India 1951
70 Indian Institute of Technology Bombay India 1958
71 Teikyo University Japan 1966
=72 South China University of Technology China 1952
=72 Yokohama City University Japan 1949
74 University of Campinas Brazil 1966
75 Keele University United Kingdom 1949
76 Bar-Ilan University Israel 1955
77 King Saud University Saudi Arabia 1957
=78 University of L’Aquila Italy 1952
=78 Aston University United Kingdom 1966
80 Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia Peru 1961
81 University of Ibadan Nigeria 1948
82 East China Normal University China 1951
=83 University of Guelph Canada 1964
=83 Hacettepe University Turkey 1967
=83 Mashhad University of Medical Sciences Iran 1949
=86 Amirkabir University of Technology Iran 1958
=86 National Chiao Tung University Taiwan 1958
=86 University of Waikato New Zealand 1964
89 Sharif University of Technology Iran 1966
90 Binghamton University, State University of New York United States 1946
=91 University of Alabama in Huntsville United States 1950
=91 King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Saudi Arabia 1963
=91 The University of the West Indies Jamaica 1948
94 China Medical University, Taiwan Taiwan 1958
95 Novosibirsk State University Russian Federation 1959
96 Beihang University China 1952
97 Massey University New Zealand 1964
98 University of the Western Cape South Africa 1959
99 University of Central Florida United States 1963
100 Johannes Kepler University of Linz Austria 1966

View the full Golden Age ranking here 

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