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 that 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 2020 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 ranking was created using the same methodology as the THE World University Rankings, but the weightings were 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.
As well as the overall ranking of the top 400+ universities under 50, THE has produced a subset ranking: millennials (universities established between 2000 and the present day).
THE has also looked at the best institutions that were founded between 1945 and 1967 – known as a “Golden Age” for public higher education. Being more than 50 years old (although still very young for universities), these institutions fall outside the parameters of the Young University Rankings. However, they are well worth a look if you are interested in some of international higher education’s rising stars.
Top five universities in the Young University Rankings 2020
Scroll down for the top 100 and a link to the full ranking
1. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology retains the top position in the ranking from last year. The university also consistently ranks as one of the best universities in Hong Kong.
As its name suggests, HKUST focuses heavily on providing students with a high-quality education within the realms of science and technology.
The university was established in 1991. In 2011, it received five State Science and Technology Awards – prestigious prizes conferred by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.
Not only has Nanyang Technological University, Singapore been ranked the second-best university under 50 years old, it is one of the highest ranked Asian universities in the THE World University Rankings and is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
The university’s main garden campus is in Jurong and it also has a site in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
The university has a 25,000-strong student body from more than 100 nations. NTU also has strong ties with many universities across the globe, including Imperial College London, Stanford University and Peking University.
Student experience at young universities
Life as an international student at EPFL, Switzerland
Life at a millennial university
Studying at POSTECH, South Korea
Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris is a collegiate university formed in 2010. It was originally formed of five institutions but has since grown to incorporate 25 self-governing academic and research institutions. It was established with the aim of becoming one of the world’s leading research universities.
PSL’s main sites are in the Latin Quarter of Paris. The aim of the university is to boost research output from France and it is actively working to become a stronger player in the global higher education sector.
The Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies is a small university in Italy specialising in applied sciences. The university was established in 1987.
The university has a rigorous admissions process, with prospective students all expected to demonstrate proficiency in two foreign languages and high marks in the university’s admissions exam.
Courses are offered from undergraduate to postgraduate level. There are a number of research institutes and laboratories attached to the university.
5. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) was established in 1971 and has since developed to become a leading institution in South Korea.
KAIST consists of two major campuses situated in Daejeon and South Korea’s capital, Seoul. Courses range from undergraduate to postgraduate and are delivered across six colleges and two schools, with over 33 divisions.
The university has developed partnerships with many international institutions in the US, UK, Denmark and Germany among others.