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Best universities in the world 2023

Find the world’s top universities in 2023 using the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings data

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October 12 2022
Best universities in the world 2018


The top 10 universities in the world

Scroll down for the full list of best universities in the world

 World University Rank 2023   World University Rank 2022  University Country/region
 1   1  University of Oxford United Kingdom
 2   =2  Harvard University United States
 =3   =5  University of Cambridge United Kingdom
 =3   4  Stanford University United States
 5   =5  Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
 6   =2  California Institute of Technology United States
 7   7  Princeton University United States
 8   8  University of California, Berkeley United States
 9   9  Yale University United States
 10   12  Imperial College London United Kingdom

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023, released on 12 October 2023, has revealed the world’s top universities. 

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A UK institution, the University of Oxford, has taken the top spot for the seventh year running. Harvard University has taken the second position.

In total, 1,799 universities across 104 countries or regions are represented in the ranking and 27 of these have at least one university in the top 200.  A further 526 universities are listed with “reporter” status, meaning that they provided data but did not meet our eligibility criteria to receive a rank.

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Both in terms of the overall ranking and the highest positions, the US and the UK are well represented. Japan and China are among the best-represented countries in the ranking. Other countries such as Germany, Australia and the Netherlands are well represented in the top 200. 

The results are calculated using 13 performance indicators underlying five metrics: research, teaching, research influence, industry income and international outlook. The full methodology can be found here.

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5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is organised into six separate schools: architecture and planning; engineering; humanities, arts and social sciences; management; science; and computing.

The first architecture classes in the US were taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The university was founded in the mid-19th century and has always endeavoured to provide financial aid to students on a needs basis.

Its campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, includes 18 student residences, many gardens and public works of art.

Admission is extremely selective. The university lays claim to 85 Nobel Laureates, 58 National Medal of Science winners, 29 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners and 45 MacArthur Fellows. Among its alumni is Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations.

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=3. Stanford University

Many graduates go on to achieve great things; 17 Nobel laureates are affiliated with Stanford University.

There are just under 7,000 undergraduates and 9,000 postgraduates at the university, with a 7:4 student-to-staff ratio.

Stanford University has produced many entrepreneurs and start-ups and was partly responsible for the development of the surrounding Silicon Valley.

The large campus is home to 97 per cent of undergraduates and nearly 700 university buildings, museums, gardens and recreational centres.

Research at Stanford has a $1.22 billion budget and more than 5,000 of its projects are externally funded.

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=3. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge climbs back into the top five this year, moving up one place from last year’s number six.

In total, 92 affiliates of the university have been awarded Nobel Prizes, covering every category. 

Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research institution. Its 800-year history makes it the fourth oldest university in the world and the second oldest university in the English-speaking world.

The university is split into 31 colleges, where students receive small group teaching sessions known as supervisions. 

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2. Harvard University

Established in 1636, Harvard University is the oldest university in the US. 

Harvard University is one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. It is part of the Ivy League, a group of eight highly regarded private universities in the US.

Harvard is connected to more than 45 Nobel laureates, at least 30 heads of state and 48 Pulitzer prizewinners. Thirteen US presidents have honorary degrees from the institution; the most recent of these was awarded to John F. Kennedy in 1956.

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1. University of Oxford

One of the most prestigious universities in the UK has come out on top for the seventh consecutive year.

The University of Oxford is the UK’s oldest university and one of the best known in the world.

There are more than 20,000 students at Oxford, with a roughly equal number of undergraduates and postgraduates.

Admission is extremely competitive; on average the university receives five applications for every place. 

The university employs staff from just under 100 countries and foreign citizens make up about 40 per cent of the student and academic body.

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Top 200 universities in the world 2023

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2023 results

 World University Rank 2023   World University Rank 2022  University Country/region
 1   1  University of Oxford United Kingdom
 2   =2  Harvard University United States
 =3   =5  University of Cambridge United Kingdom
 =3   4  Stanford University United States
 5   =5  Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
 6   =2  California Institute of Technology United States
 7   7  Princeton University United States
 8   8  University of California, Berkeley United States
 9   9  Yale University United States
 10   12  Imperial College London United Kingdom
 =11   11  Columbia University United States
 =11   15  ETH Zurich Switzerland
 13   10  The University of Chicago United States
 14   =13  University of Pennsylvania United States
 15   =13  Johns Hopkins University United States
 16   =16  Tsinghua University China
 17   =16  Peking University China
 18   =18  University of Toronto Canada
 19   21  National University of Singapore Singapore
 20   22  Cornell University United States
 21   20  University of California, Los Angeles United States
 22   =18  UCL United Kingdom
 23   =24  University of Michigan-Ann Arbor United States
 24   26  New York University United States
 25   23  Duke University United States
 =26   =24  Northwestern University United States
 =26   29  University of Washington United States
 28   28  Carnegie Mellon University United States
 29   =30  University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
 30   38  Technical University of Munich Germany
 31   =30  University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 32   34  University of California, San Diego United States
 33   32  LMU Munich Germany
 34   33  University of Melbourne Australia
 35   =35  King’s College London United Kingdom
 36   46  Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Singapore
 37   27  London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom
 38   45  Georgia Institute of Technology United States
 39   =35  The University of Tokyo Japan
 40   37  University of British Columbia Canada
 41   =40  École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland
 42   =42  KU Leuven Belgium
 43   =42  Heidelberg University Germany
 44   57  Monash University Australia
 45   49  Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 46   44  McGill University Canada
 47   =40  Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris France
 48   48  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States
 49   39  Karolinska Institute Sweden
 50   47  University of Texas at Austin United States
 51   60  Fudan University China
 52   84  Shanghai Jiao Tong University China
 53   =54  The University of Queensland Australia
 =54   50  University of Manchester United Kingdom
 =54   =58  University of Sydney Australia
 56   =54  Seoul National University South Korea
 57   51  Washington University in St Louis United States
 58   66  The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
 59   53  Wageningen University & Research Netherlands
 60   65  University of Amsterdam Netherlands
 61   64  Brown University United States
 62   =54  Australian National University Australia
 63   67  University of California, Davis United States
 64   68  University of California, Santa Barbara United States
 65   63  University of Southern California United States
 66   69  Utrecht University Netherlands
 67   =75  Zhejiang University China
 68   61  Kyoto University Japan
 69   52  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States
 70   =75  Delft University of Technology Netherlands
 =71   62  Boston University United States
 =71   70  UNSW Sydney Australia
 73   73  Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin Germany
 74   =88  University of Science and Technology of China China
 75   =80  University of Groningen Netherlands
 76   92  University of Bristol United Kingdom
 77   71  Leiden University Netherlands
 78   =151  Yonsei University (Seoul campus) South Korea
 79   91  Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong
 80   72  Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands
 81   =58  University of Wisconsin-Madison United States
 =82   82  Emory University United States
 =82   =86  University of Glasgow United Kingdom
 =82   =75  University of Zurich Switzerland
 85   =80  McMaster University Canada
 =86   74  Humboldt University of Berlin Germany
 =86   =78  University of Tübingen Germany
 88   111  University of Adelaide Australia
 89   112  University of Bonn Germany
 90   =88  Sorbonne University France
 =91   83  Free University of Berlin Germany
 =91   =99  Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) South Korea
 93   =117  Université Paris-Saclay France
 94   =101  University of Bern Switzerland
 =95   98  University of California, Irvine United States
 =95   91  Institut Polytechnique de Paris France
 =95   =105  Nanjing University China
 98   =113  Vanderbilt University United States
 =99   =151  City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 =99   =108  RWTH Aachen University Germany
 =101   103  University of Basel Switzerland
 =101   =190  King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia
 =101   =86  University of Minnesota United States
 =104   =93  University of Maryland, College Park United States
 =104   =78  University of Warwick United Kingdom
 106   =93  Michigan State University United States
 107   =96  Ghent University Belgium
 =108   =105  University of Birmingham United Kingdom
 =108   124  University of Southampton United Kingdom
 110   =101  University of Helsinki Finland
 111   =88  University of Montreal Canada
 112   85  Ohio State University (Main campus) United States
 113   =108  University of Freiburg Germany
 =114   =96  University of Copenhagen Denmark
 =114   155  Université Paris Cité France
 =114   110  University of Sheffield United Kingdom
 117   104  Aarhus University Denmark
 118   125  University of Alberta Canada
 =119   =119  University of Göttingen Germany
 =119   116  Lund University Sweden
 121   115  Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands
 122   =122  Lancaster University United Kingdom
 123   =99  Dartmouth College United States
 =124   =117  Queen Mary University of London United Kingdom
 =124   =137  University of Vienna Austria
 126   =119  University of Oslo Norway
 127   =105  Purdue University West Lafayette United States
 =128   =132  University of Hamburg Germany
 =128   =127  University of Leeds United Kingdom
 130   141  University of Nottingham United Kingdom
 =131   =143  University of Antwerp Belgium
 =131   =132  The University of Western Australia Australia
 133   =143  University of Technology Sydney Australia
 134   126  Case Western Reserve University United States
 135   =176  University of Lausanne Switzerland
 136   130  Georgetown University United States
 =137   =143  University of Exeter United Kingdom
 =137   =162  University of Ottawa Canada
 =139   =137  University of Auckland New Zealand
 =139   =146  Newcastle University United Kingdom
 =139   139  Radboud University Nijmegen Netherlands
 =139   165  University of Würzburg Germany
 =139   169  University of York United Kingdom
 144   140  University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus United States
 145   =127  Maastricht University Netherlands
 146   =172  University of Cologne Germany
 147   136  Rice University United States
 =148   =158  University of Colorado Boulder United States
 =148   =146  Ulm University Germany
 =148   131  Uppsala University Sweden
 =151   154  University of Florida United States
 =151   =119  Penn State (Main campus) United States
 =151   =172  Tufts University United States
 154   142  University of Rochester United States
 155   201–250  KTH Royal Institute of Technology Sweden
 =156   =132  Arizona State University (Tempe) United States
 =156   139  Technical University of Berlin Germany
 =156   =172  TU Dresden Germany
 =156   =127  University of Virginia (Main campus) United States
 160   =183  University of Cape Town South Africa
 =161   =172  University of Bologna Italy
 =161   =146  Trinity College Dublin Ireland
 =163   =185  University of Leicester United Kingdom
 =163   =185  Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) South Korea
 =166   =162  Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) China
 =166   =185  Technical University of Denmark Denmark
 =168   196  Medical University of Graz Austria
 =168   168  Northeastern University United States
 =170   167  Indiana University United States
 =170   =158  Université Catholique de Louvain Belgium
 =170   =122  Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) South Korea
 173   157  Wuhan University China
 174   =178  Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) South Korea
 175   192  Macquarie University Australia
 =176   181  Huazhong University of Science and Technology China
 =176   =178  University of Liverpool United Kingdom
 =176   =176  Stockholm University Sweden
 179   =146  University of Mannheim Germany
 180   150  University of Arizona United States
 181   =193  Texas A&M University United States
 182   =193  University of Barcelona Spain
 =183   =170  Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain
 =183   =197  Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Italy
 185   201–250  University of Münster Germany
 186   156  Pompeu Fabra University Spain
 =187   189  Cardiff University United Kingdom
 =187   =113  National Taiwan University (NTU) Taiwan
 =189   201–250  Friedrich Schiller University Jena Germany
 =189   180  Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany
 191   201–250  University of Massachusetts United States
 =192   =158  University of Aberdeen United Kingdom
 =192   201–250  University of California, Santa Cruz United States
 =194   201–250  Medical University of Vienna Austria
 =194   201–250  University of Miami United States
 =196   =197  University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Germany
 =196   401–500  Sichuan University China
 =198   =162  Durham University United Kingdom
 =198   201–250  Queen’s University Belfast United Kingdom
 =198   201–250  University of Reading United Kingdom


Editors note: As part of our THE statement on Ukraine published on 2 March 2022, Russian universities have been given less prominence in our rankings. Russian universities that met the criteria for this ranking are not displayed in the table above.

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