Prospective students looking to study in the most international environments in the world should look to apply to universities in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore or the UK.
Universities, by their nature, are global institutions. Typically, they are home to communities of students and scholars from all over the world, and they tackle some of the globe’s most pressing problems through research.
But this table, compiled using the international student score, international staff score, international co-authorship score and international reputation metrics collected for the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019, shows that the above four countries are home to the 10 most international universities in the world.
These institutions all have a high proportion of international students and staff, collaborate on research with scholars from across the world and have a strong global reputation to match. Read the full methodology here.
Research suggests that diverse communities of students improve the teaching and learning experience while opportunities for students to spend time abroad better prepare them to become global citizens.
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The University of Hong Kong has embarked on a mission to become “Asia’s Global University”, which includes the goal of 50 per cent of its undergraduates having two opportunities to study outside Hong Kong during their degree by 2019, and for all students to have this opportunity by 2022.
Overall, Hong Kong’s leading university has more than 20,000 students, with almost 8,000 from abroad.
Teaching at the institution is in English and education has an international focus, with the aim of preparing students to become global citizens who could be successful anywhere in the world.
Hong Kong itself is also known as one of the most global cities in the world, acting as a gateway between East and West.
=2. ETH Zurich
It is no surprise that Switzerland is home to one of the most international universities in the world, given that it is surrounded by five countries (France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein) and situated in the heart of Europe.
ETH Zurich is located in Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, which, although expensive, is known for being very safe. The main spoken language is Swiss German but the university also offers courses in English.
The institution has more than 19,000 students from over 120 countries and is the top university in continental Europe.
The university focuses on teaching and research in the STEM subjects and 21 Nobel prizes have been awarded to students and teachers at the institution. One of the most famous alumni is Albert Einstein.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is regarded as one of the fastest-growing universities in the world.
More than a third of the student body is considered international with at least 60 nationalities represented. About 80 per cent of the faculty come from overseas.
More than 45 per cent of students undertake an overseas exchange and all four academic schools have their own exchange programmes. Some 70 per cent of students participate in internships overseas.
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École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne has a particularly strong reputation in engineering, with 13 engineering science programmes, and more recently it has become known for its work in the life sciences, and also has strong computer science programmes.
Students at the institution are given numerous opportunities to participate in exchange programmes with other universities in Switzerland and abroad. The university also offers an internship scheme for students enrolled at other internationally acclaimed universities to spend up to three months at one of its campus laboratories.
Students from more than 50 countries study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The university has partnerships with more than 270 institutions in over 30 countries and regions. Some 6,000 students study abroad or take part in a learning abroad programme or internship.
Most international universities in the world 2019
Note: A correction to the World University Rankings table in November 2018 has resulted in big improvements in internationalisation metrics for the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Methodology: All four metrics have an equal weighting in the table. The international reputation indicator is a measure of the proportion of votes from outside the home country that the institution achieved in THE's annual invitation-only Academic Reputation Survey, which asks leading scholars to name the world's best universities for teaching and research in their field. Only institutions that received at least 100 votes in the survey (at least 50 of which were from their home country) were eligible for inclusion.
Read more: Best universities in the world