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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.