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Best young universities in the world 2023

Explore the best universities under 50 years old using Times Higher Education’s university rankings data

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July 3 2023
best young universities


Top 10 best young universities 2023

Scroll down for the top 100 and a link to the full ranking

When choosing which university to attend, it can be easy to get distracted by the old guard: those institutions that have been around for centuries and which dominate the upper echelons of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Names such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Princeton spring to mind. 

But many more institutions also deserve your attention. THE’s 2023 Young University Rankings reveal the best universities under 50 years old, assessing them across teaching, research, international outlook and their work with industry. In fact, the rankings were created using the same methodology as for the THE World University Rankings, but the weightings have been recalibrated to reflect the missions of younger universities. The full methodology can be found here, and you can explore the top 100 universities by scrolling down.

Top five universities in the Young University Rankings 2023

1. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore is one of the highest-ranked Asian universities in the THE World University Rankings. 

The university was established in 1991. Its main garden campus is in Jurong and it also has a site in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

The university has 25,000 students from more than 100 nations. NTU also has strong ties with many institutions across the globe, including Peking University.

2. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong

HKUST consistently ranks as one of the best universities in Hong Kong as well as being in the top 100 in the world. 

As its name suggests, HKUST focuses on providing students with a high-quality education within the realms of science and technology. 

The university was established in 1991 and, in 2022, it introduced a scheme called HKUST 2.0, which covers its plans for development in the future. These include the opening of a new campus in Guangzhou and ideas for how the two university campuses will work together to improve the teaching and learning at the institution. 

3. Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris, France

PSL moves down two places to number three in this year’s Young University Rankings. 

It is a collegiate university formed in 2010 with the aim of becoming one of the world’s leading research universities. It was originally made up of five institutions but has since grown to incorporate 25 self-governing academic and research institutions.

PSL’s main sites are in the Latin Quarter of Paris. The university aims to boost research output from France and has developed strategic partnerships with Technion Israel Institute of Technology, among others.

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4. Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

HKPU was established in 1937 and was granted official university status in 1994. 

The university is made up of eight faculties and schools: applied sciences and textiles; business; construction and environment; design; engineering; health and social sciences; hotel and tourism management; and humanities. 

The university partners with more than 240 institutions around the world to facilitate student exchanges. 

5. Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

EUR is a public research university in the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. 

The university is organised into two institutes, a university college and seven schools: economics; law; social and behavioural sciences; history, culture and communication; health policy and management; philosophy; and management. 

The university is split across five different sites, including Campus Woudestein, Erasmus MC, Erasmus University College, the Erasmus Centre for  Entrepreneurship and the International Institute of Social Studies. 

The 100 best young universities 2023

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

Young University Rank 2023 Young University Rank 2022 University Country/region
1 2 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Singapore
2 3 The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
3 1 Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris France
4 5 Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong
5 4 Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands
6 10 City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
7 7 University of Antwerp Belgium
8 6 Institut Polytechnique de Paris France
9 8 University of Technology Sydney Australia
10 11 Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) South Korea
11 =18 Université Paris Cité France
12 =18 Université Paris-Saclay France
13 9 Maastricht University Netherlands
14 15 Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) South Korea
15 12 Sorbonne University France
16 20 Medical University of Graz Austria
17 13 Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) China
18 16 Pompeu Fabra University Spain
19 14 Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – Pisa Italy
20 =26 Vita-Salute San Raffaele University Italy
21 22 Medical University of Innsbruck Austria
=22 23 Medical University of Vienna Austria
=22 28 University of Potsdam Germany
24 43 Qatar University Qatar
25 25 University of Luxembourg Luxembourg
=26 =26 University of Macau Macao
=26 =39 Macau University of Science and Technology Macao
=26 21 Queensland University of Technology Australia
29 NR Humanitas University Italy
30 24 University of Wollongong Australia
31 29 University of Duisburg-Essen Germany
32 57 Università della Svizzera italiana Switzerland
33 31 Western Sydney University Australia
34 17 University of Canberra Australia
=35 =34 Aalborg University Denmark
=35 =53 Hasselt University Belgium
37 =36 Curtin University Australia
38 75 United Arab Emirates University United Arab Emirates
39 38 Linköping University Sweden
40 30 Aalto University Finland
41 =62 Bournemouth University United Kingdom
42 42 Deakin University Australia
=43 =134 Bond University Australia
=43 =89 University of Sharjah United Arab Emirates
=43 50 Swinburne University of Technology Australia
46 33 Griffith University Australia
47 =39 Australian Catholic University Australia
48 32 Brighton and Sussex Medical School United Kingdom
=49 41 Auckland University of Technology New Zealand
=49 =47 Khalifa University United Arab Emirates
51 =36 Alfaisal University Saudi Arabia
52 46 University of South Australia Australia
53 =55 RMIT University Australia
54 =34 Tampere University Finland
=55 =89 Koç University Turkey
=55 61 Montpellier University France
=55 =86 University of Southern Queensland Australia
58 NR Abu Dhabi University United Arab Emirates
59 =58 University of Bayreuth Germany
=60 =58 University of California, Merced United States
=60 =104 Charles Darwin University Australia
=60 =44 IMT Atlantique France
=60 =44 University of Passau Germany
=60 =51 University of Rome II – Tor Vergata Italy
=65 =116 Asia University, Taiwan Taiwan
=65 72 Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences Iran
=65 =55 University of Milan-Bicocca Italy
68 =68 Universiti Brunei Darussalam Brunei Darussalam
69 =82 Verona University Italy
70 =53 Reykjavík University Iceland
71 =58 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden
72 =70 University of Vaasa Finland
=73 =68 University of Brescia Italy
=73 NR Leuphana University of Lüneburg Germany
75 65 University of Bordeaux France
76 67 Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences Iran
=77 =62 Aix-Marseille University France
=77 146 Mahatma Gandhi University India
=79 =70 JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research India
=79 =119 Universiti Teknologi Petronas Malaysia
=81 =91 Institut Agro France
=81 64 University of KwaZulu-Natal South Africa
83 94 Edith Cowan University Australia
84 =109 Murdoch University Australia
=85 80 Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology South Korea
=85 =106 Maynooth University Ireland
=87 NR Qazvin University of Medical Sciences Iran
=87 73 Shenzhen University China
=89 113 Dublin City University Ireland
=89 108 Sabancı University Turkey
91 NR Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences India
=92 NR Babol University of Medical Sciences Iran
=92 114 Free University of Bozen-Bolzano Italy
94 88 University of Crete Greece
=95 NR Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University Saudi Arabia
=95 =170 Universiti Utara Malaysia Malaysia
97 49 National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University Taiwan
=98 =140 Ferhat Abbas Sétif University 1 Algeria
100 NR Qom University of Medical Sciences Iran

See the full Young University Rankings 2023 here 

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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