Most international universities in the world 2017: top 150

Explore the top 150 most international universities in the world using data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings

February 1 2017

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Prospective students looking to study in the most international environments in the world might be best off applying to universities in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK or Australia.

Universities, by their nature, are global institutions. Typically they are home to communities of students and scholars from all over the world and tackle some of the globe’s most pressing problems through research.

But a new Times Higher Education ranking shows that the above five countries are home to the 10 most international universities in the world.

These institutions all have a high proportion of both 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 students to become global citizens.

 

Top five most international universities in the world

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

It is no surprise that Switzerland is home to the world’s most international university 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 situated in Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, which, although expensive, is known for being safe. The main spoken language is Swiss German but the university also offers courses in English.

The institution has more than 18,000 students from over 120 countries and is the top university in continental Europe. It boasts Albert Einstein as one of its most notable alumni.

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is quite small with just 9,750 students, but more than half of these come from outside Switzerland.

The university has a particularly strong reputation in engineering, with 13 different engineering science programmes, but has more recently become known for its work in the life sciences.

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.

University of Hong Kong

Last year the University of Hong Kong began its mission to become “Asia’s Global University”, which includes the goal of 50 per cent of its undergraduates being given 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 and almost 8,000 are 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 that 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.

National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore is Asia’s number one university.

Students at the institution have opportunities to participate in student exchanges and enrol in double and joint degree programmes with other leading universities in the world.

NUS also has overseas colleges in Beijing, Israel, Lausanne, Munich, New York, Shanghai, Silicon Valley and Stockholm, which enables undergraduates to undertake internships for up to a year in start-ups overseas while taking classes at a partner university.

In addition, the university has collaborations with two leading US institutions, Duke University (the Duke-NUS Medical School) and Yale University (Yale-NUS College).

Imperial College London

More than half of Imperial College London’s 15,000 students are international, coming from over 125 different countries.

Many of these overseas students are attracted to the university not only for its world-renowned teaching and research but also because of its location in one of the most international and dynamic cities in the world.

 

Top 150 most international universities in the world

Rank Rank in THE World University Rankings 2016-17 Institution Country  Overall score 
1 9 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland 97.1
2 30 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland 96.7
3 43 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 96.5
4 24 National University of Singapore Singapore 96
5 8 Imperial College London United Kingdom 95.2
6 1 University of Oxford United Kingdom 94.3
7 47 Australian National University Australia 93
8 4 University of Cambridge United Kingdom 92.8
9 15 University College London United Kingdom 92.2
10 25 London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom 92
11 36 King’s College London United Kingdom 91.9
12 36 University of British Columbia Canada 90.2
13 27 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom 90.1
14 78 University of New South Wales Australia 89.3
15 106 University of Zurich Switzerland 88.6
16 116 École Polytechnique France 88.5
17 82 University of Warwick United Kingdom 88.1
18 33 University of Melbourne Australia 87.7
19 88 University of Glasgow United Kingdom 86.8
20 55 University of Manchester United Kingdom 86.6
21 74 Monash University Australia 85.9
22 5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States 84.9
23 42 McGill University Canada 84.8
23 60 University of Sydney Australia 84.8
25 165 University of Auckland New Zealand 84.4
26 96 Durham University United Kingdom 84.2
27 76 Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 83.4
28 129 University of York United Kingdom 82.9
29 71 University of Bristol United Kingdom 82.7
29 120 University of Copenhagen Denmark 82.7
31 107 University of Alberta Canada 81.6
32 22 University of Toronto Canada 80
33 6 Harvard University United States 79
34 173 University of Waterloo Canada 77.7
35 98 Aarhus University Denmark 77.2
36 3 Stanford University United States 76.8
37 7 Princeton University United States 76.7
38 63 University of Amsterdam Netherlands 75
39 16 Columbia University United States 74.9
40 40 KU Leuven Belgium 73.1
41 33 Georgia Institute of Technology United States 71.9
42 66 École Normale Supérieure France 71.2
43 121 Pierre and Marie Curie University France 70.9
44 75 Free University of Berlin Germany 70.7
45 17 Johns Hopkins University United States 70.5
46 70 Purdue University United States 68.9
47 301-350 University of Strasbourg France 68.2
48 113 University of Bonn Germany 68
49 57 Humboldt University of Berlin Germany 67.9
50 10 University of Chicago United States 67.8
50 46 Technical University of Munich Germany 67.8
52 2 California Institute of Technology United States 67.6
53 87 Rice University United States 67.1
54 201-250 Paris Diderot University – Paris 7 France 66.8
54 12 Yale University United States 66.8
56 43 Heidelberg University Germany 66.6
57 82 Technical University of Berlin Germany 66.2
58 179 Paris-Sud University France 65.2
59 86 Utrecht University Netherlands 65.1
60 48 University of California, Santa Barbara United States 64.7
60 19 Cornell University United States 64.7
62 51 University of California, Davis United States 64.6
63 201-250 École Normale Supérieure de Lyon France 64.5
64 30 LMU Munich Germany 64.3
65 10 University of California, Berkeley United States 64.1
66 98 University of California, Irvine United States 62.6
67 144 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany 62.5
68 23 Carnegie Mellon University United States 62.4
69 95 University of Freiburg Germany 62.2
70 351-400 Paris-Sorbonne University – Paris 4 France 61.7
71 60 University of Southern California United States 61.4
72 201-250 Goethe University Frankfurt Germany 61.3
73 14 University of California, Los Angeles United States 61.2
74 89 University of Tübingen Germany 60.8
75 186 Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel 60.5
76 64 Boston University United States 60.3
77 101 Michigan State University United States 59.7
78 201-250 Stony Brook University United States 59.4
79 151 University of Rochester United States 59.1
80 18 Duke University United States 58.9
81 112 University of Göttingen Germany 58.8
82 51 Brown University United States 58.5
83 32 New York University United States 58
84 78 RWTH Aachen University Germany 57.5
85 200 University of Illinois at Chicago United States 57.4
86 20 Northwestern University United States 57.3
87 201-250 Polytechnic University of Milan Italy 56.3
88 165 University of Massachusetts United States 55.8
89 401-500 Panthéon-Sorbonne University – Paris 1 France 55.5
90 351-400 Autonomous University of Madrid Spain 55.3
90 25 University of Washington United States 55.3
92 102 University of Mannheim Germany 54.8
92 169 Texas A&M University United States 54.8
94 21 University of Michigan United States 54.7
94 72 Ohio State University United States 54.7
96 301-350 Aix-Marseille University France 54.6
97 36 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States 54.5
97 201-250 North Carolina State University United States 54.5
99 201-250 Paris Descartes University France 53.2
100 13 University of Pennsylvania United States 53.1
101 41 University of California, San Diego United States 53
102 146 University of California, Santa Cruz United States 52.1
103 131 Arizona State University United States 51.8
104 188 Lomonosov Moscow State University Russian Federation 51.5
105 82 Emory University United States 51.2
106 351-400 Polytechnic University of Turin Italy 51.1
107 150 Indiana University United States 50.6
108 143 University of Notre Dame United States 50.4
109 104 Georgetown University United States 49.9
110 68 Pennsylvania State University United States 49
111 161 University of Münster Germany 48.9
112 201-250 Florida State University United States 48.8
112 251-300 Sapienza University of Rome Italy 48.8
114 156 University of Arizona United States 46.1
115 57 Washington University in St Louis United States 45.6
116 45 University of Wisconsin-Madison United States 45.5
117 116 University of Colorado Boulder United States 45
117 121 University of Virginia United States 45
119 67 University of Maryland, College Park United States 43.9
120 53 University of Minnesota United States 43.1
120 29 Peking University China 43.1
122 301-350 University of Georgia United States 43
123 141 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey United States 42.9
124 126 Case Western Reserve University United States 42.2
125 80 University of Pittsburgh United States 42.1
126 301-350 Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Russian Federation 42
127 251-300 Yonsei University South Korea 41.8
128 201-250 Nanjing University China 41.6
129 56 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States 41.4
130 50 University of Texas at Austin United States 40.9
130 251-300 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University United States 40.9
132 82 Dartmouth College United States 39.9
133 134 University of Florida United States 39.6
134 201-250 University of Utah United States 39
135 201-250 Korea University South Korea 38.7
136 401-500 Renmin University of China China 38.2
136 39 University of Tokyo Japan 38.2
138 137 Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) South Korea 38
139 201-250 University of Iowa United States 37.2
140 89 Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) South Korea 36.2
141 401-500 University of Tsukuba Japan 36.1
142 35 Tsinghua University China 35.7
143 251-300 Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan 34.5
144 251-300 National Tsing Hua University Taiwan 34.4
145 155 Fudan University China 32.9
145 72 Seoul National University South Korea 32.9
147 251-300 University of São Paulo Brazil 32.6
148 195 National Taiwan University Taiwan 32.3
149 201-250 Tohoku University Japan 32.2
150 104 Pohang University of Science and Technology South Korea 32.1

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