Top universities with the best student-to-staff ratio 2019

Data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings reveal the top universities with the best student-to-staff ratios

February 11 2019
Top universities for best student to staff ratio

A lower student-to-staff ratio can help students to cultivate closer relationships with their lecturers, have quicker access to essay feedback, and get involved in more interactive seminars and discussions.

Times Higher Education has created this table to show which universities have the best student-to-staff ratios in the world as a way to help students work out which universities could be best placed to provide this type of learning environment.

The list has been compiled using data from the latest THE World University Rankings. As part of the rankings, THE collects information on the staff and student numbers of each university, and from this we can calculate the student-to-staff ratio. The full methodology of the WUR can be found here. The table below shows the number of students per member of staff for each university. 

All the top five universities are specialist medical institutions. As these universities combine practical experience alongside theoretical learning, it may be that they require higher numbers of staff to support this teaching structure.

It is also the case that many specialist universities have smaller student bodies, with higher numbers of teaching staff and faculty. However, some universities on this list – such as Johns Hopkins University and Duke University – have high student populations (about 15,000 each), so this isn’t always the case.

Japan dominates the list, with 36 universities featured. The US comes in second with 25 universities. The rest of the top 100 features universities from Russia, Brazil, France, India and China. Noticeably, universities based in the UK are absent from the top 100. 

The top five universities with the best student-to-staff ratio

Scroll down to see the full table

1. Jikei University School of Medicine

Jikei University School of Medicine is a private university in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The word “jikei” means mercy and love in Japanese.

With 2,700 beds and 7,500 outpatients per day, Jikei University Hospitals is considered one of the largest educational hospital systems in the country. The university also has an international exchange programme with King’s College London and the University of Leeds

Jikei has four university hospitals – Katsushika Medical Center, Daisan Hospital in Chofu Komae, the Kashiwa Hospital in Chiba and the Jikei University School of Medicine Triton Clinic in Harumi.

2. Oregon Health and Science University 

Oregon Health and Science University is a public university with a main campus and two hospitals in Portland, Oregon, US. It was founded in 1887.

The institution offers degree programmes in dentistry, medicine and nursing. It is a functioning hospital, simultaneously treating patients, training healthcare professionals and conducting important healthcare research.

Oregon Health and Science University is also one of the largest employers in the state, and has launched many community programmes to improve the health of Oregon’s residents.

The university’s Knight Cancer Institute helped to pioneer medicine through a discovery that identified how to shut down cells that enable cancer to grow without harming healthy ones. The Brain Institute scientists are nationally recognised for discoveries that have led to a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Kansai Medical University

Kansai Medical University is a private medical university located in the city of Moriguchi, near the town of Osaka, Japan. It was established in 1928, when the Osaka Women's Medical College was established, but it wasn't chartered until 1947. It became co-educational in 1954 and adopted its current name. 

The university is affiliated with four hospitals, which include the KMU Kori Hospital, KMU Medical Centre, KMU University Hospital and Kansai Medical University Temmabashi General Clinic. 

It also offers a number of graduate programmes across many areas including stem cell pathology, psychosomatic medicine, radiology, pediatrics and dermatology. 

4. Saitama Medical University 

Since Saitama Medical University was founded in 1972, it has expanded from just 80 students to a multi-faculty school. The university provides hands-on experience for all students in one of the four affiliated hospitals.

In 2003, the university established the Medical Education Centre, a place where students and staff learn alongside each other in an environment where undergraduate and postgraduate students and practising physicians mix.

The university campus is located an hour to the north of central Tokyo. 


Student experience

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=5. Rush University 

Rush University is the final specialist medical university in this top five. Located in the Illinois Medical District in Chicago, US, the university is part of a hub of patient care, research and education.

The university encourages community services among its students, and many regularly take part in community work. 

The Rush University Medical Center (the hospital associated with the university) was Chicago’s first major hospital and remains a highly regarded medical centre across the US. The university offers courses in nursing, medicine, biomedical research and allied health.

The college is named after Benjamin Rush, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence and a Pennsylvanian physician who counted George Washington as one of his patients.

=5. Tokyo Medical University

Tokyo Medical University is one of the medical schools established in Japan before World War II. 

The private university has a six-year medical school curriculum that offers "clinical" and "preclinical" studies.

Tokyo Medical University Hospital is affiliated with the university. It was founded in 1931, has 1,091 beds and a medical staff of nearly 1,800. it is located in Nishi-Shinjuku a new centre of Tokyo. 


The top 100 universities with the best student-to-staff ratio 

Rank 2019 Rank 2018 Name Country Number of students per one member of staff 
1 1 Jikei University School of Medicine Japan 0.9
2 2 Oregon Health and Science University United States 1
3 3 Kansai Medical University Japan 1.2
4 5 Rush University United States 1.4
=5 4 Saitama Medical University Japan 1.5
=5 NR Tokyo Medical University Japan 1.5
7 NR Hyogo College of Medicine Japan 1.9
8 =6 Showa University Japan 2
9 =6 University of Nebraska Medical Center United States 2.3
10 NR Aichi Medical University Japan 2.9
=11 =12 Vanderbilt University United States 3.1
=11 10 Fujita Health University Japan 3.1
13 11 Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) Japan 3.2
14 NR Sapporo Medical University Japan 3.5
=15 =12 Nara Medical University Japan 3.6
=15 NR University of South China China 3.6
17 14 Yokohama City University Japan 3.7
=18 16 Hamamatsu University School of Medicine Japan 3.8
=18 15 Juntendo University Japan 3.8
20 17 Bauman Moscow State Technical University Russian Federation 3.9
21 =18 Wake Forest University United States 4
22 =27 Western Paraná State University (Unioeste) Brazil 4.1
=23 =24 Emory University United States 4.2
=23 =20 University of Rochester United States 4.2
=25 =24 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden 4.4
=25 26 Duke University United States 4.4
=25 =18 University of Copenhagen Denmark 4.4
=25 NR King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences Saudi Arabia 4.4
=29 =20 Johns Hopkins University United States 4.6
=29 NR Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Kazakhstan 4.6
=29 NR L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University Kazakhstan 4.9
32 =27 National Yang-Ming University Taiwan 5.1
33 =20 Yale University United States 5.2
34 =32 Kitasato University Japan 5.3
35 =27 University of Colorado Denver United States 5.4
36 =32 Tohoku University Japan 5.5
37 30 École Polytechnique France 5.6
38 NR Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University Russian Federation 5.7
=39 =35 University of Pittsburgh United States 5.9
=39 =35 University of Miami United States 5.9
41 =39 Columbia University United States 6
=42 41 University of Chicago United States 6.1
=42 NR University of Leoben Austria 6.1
=44 NR Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) China 6.3
=44 NR New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology United States 6.3
=44 NR Nippon Medical School Japan 6.3
=44 =39 King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Saudi Arabia 6.3
=48 =42 Novosibirsk State University Russian Federation 6.4
=48 =47 University of Yamanashi Japan 6.4
=48 =42 University of Pennsylvania United States 6.4
=51 38 Technical University of Denmark Denmark 6.5
=51 NR Southern Medical University China 6.5
=51 =42 California Institute of Technology United States 6.5
=54 31 Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Italy 6.7
=54 =45 Dartmouth College United States 6.7
=56 =45 Nagasaki University Japan 6.9
=56 NR National University of the South Argentina 6.9
=56 =55 Norwegian University of Life Sciences Norway 6.9
=56 NR Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca Romania 6.9
60 NR Pontifical Catholic University of Peru Peru 7
61 =52 Capital Medical University China 7.1
=62 =61 Lomonosov Moscow State University Russian Federation 7.2
=62 =67 Tehran University of Medical Sciences Iran 7.2
=64 =55 Tamil Nadu Agricultural University India 7.3
=64 =49 Saint Louis University United States 7.3
=64 34 Saint Petersburg State University Russian Federation 7.3
=64 =55 Vita-Salute San Raffaele University Italy 7.3
=64 NR Gunma University Japan 7.3
=64 =65 Washington University in St Louis United States 7.3
70 =65 Stanford University United States 7.4
=71 =61 Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan 7.5
=71 =74 Nagoya City University Japan 7.5
=71 =84 G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar India 7.5
=74 =74 National University of Sciences and Technology Pakistan 7.6
=74 =47 The University of Tokyo Japan 7.6
=76 =70 Kumamoto University Japan 7.7
=76 =70 Kobe University Japan 7.7
=78 =55 Case Western Reserve University United States 7.8
=78 NR Osaka University Japan 7.8
=80 =74 Gifu University Japan 7.9
=80 8 Medical University of Vienna Austria 7.9
=80 =74 Shimane University Japan 7.9
=80 =72 Okayama University Japan 7.9
=80 =81 Niigata University Japan 7.9
=80 =74 Hokkaido University Japan 7.9
=86 NR IMT Atlantique France 8
=86 NR Ilmenau University of Technology Germany 8
=86 =81 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia 8
=86 =99 Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod Russian Federation 8
90 =88 Khalifa University United Arab Emirates 8.1
=91 =99 École Normale Supérieure de Lyon France 8.2
=91 =88 Princeton University United States 8.2
=91 =81 Linköping University Sweden 8.2
=91 NR Aoyama Gakuin University Japan 8.2
=91 =74 Tottori University Japan 8.2
=91 =97 Kochi University Japan 8.2
=97 NR University of Michigan United States 8.3
=97 =67 Kyushu University Japan 8.3
=97 =88 University of Miyazaki Japan 8.3
=97 =63 Southern Federal University Russian Federation 8.3

Read more: The world’s best small universities

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