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 who dominate the upper echelons of the World University Rankings (names such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Princeton spring to mind).
But there are many more institutions out there that also deserve your attention, and Times Higher Education's 2017 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 used for the World University Rankings, but the weightings were recalibrated to reflect missions of younger universities. The full methodology can be found here, and you can find the results by scrolling down.
As well as the overall ranking of the top 200 universities under 50, THE has produced three subset rankings: Millennials (universities established between 2000 and the present day), Generation Y (established between 1986 and 1999) and Generation X (established between 1967 and 1985) to really help you explore your options if you're looking for a young, innovative place to go to college.
THE has also looked at the best institutions that were founded between 1945 and 1966 – known as a “golden age” for public higher education. Being more than 50 years old (although still very young in terms of universities), these institutions fall outside the Young University Rankings parameters. However, they are well worth a look if you are interested in some of international higher education's rising stars.
The top five universities in the Young University Rankings 2017
Scroll down for the top 100 and a link to the full top 200
1. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is situated in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and specialises in science and engineering. Its campus sits on the banks of Lake Geneva and is powered entirely by electricity produced by hydropower.
The university has maintained its first place position from the 2016 Young University Rankings, achieving impressive results across teaching, research and industry research.
More than half the students enrolled at the university are international, with about 120 different countries represented on campus. The institution has two official languages, French and English.
There are fewer than 10,000 students enrolled at the university spread across six subject areas. EPFL is also highly regarded for its research output in engineering and science, including the Blue Brain Project and the Human Brain Project, attempting to reconstruct mammalian and human brains digitally.
2. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology climbs one place from number three in the 2016 Young University Rankings to take the second position in 2017. 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, a prestigious award in science and technology conferred by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.
Not only has Nanyang Technological University been ranked as the third best university under 50 years old, it has also been included in a list of 15 universities with the most beautiful campuses.
The university's main garden campus is in Jurong and it also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
The campuses are home to more than 100 nationalities, making up the 25,000-strong student body. NTU also has strong ties with many universities across the globe including Imperial College London, Stanford University and Beijing University.
4. Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea
Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) is very selective about the students it admits. Only 320 students are admitted every year through a rigorous selection process.
POSTECH is primarily bilingual; academic degree programmes are delivered in English, and all official university meetings, events, activities, documents and announcements are in both English and Korean.
The university focuses on science and technology education, loosely modelled on the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
5. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea
The final university rounding off the top five is yet another specialist science and technology university in South Korea. KAIST has two campuses in Daejeon and one in Seoul. Between the two campuses there are 25 dormitories, four libraries and a medical centre.
The university has established itself as a leading institution in science and technology research in Korea, with many engineers, mathematicians and scientists included in its alumni.
However, the university aims to ensure that the students engage in cultural ventures outside their studies by organising traditional opera and jazz recitals.