Top universities with the best student-to-staff ratio 2018

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

January 16 2018
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 34 universities featured. The US comes in second with 25 universities. The rest of the top 100 features universities from Russia, 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

University of Nebraska Medical Center: learning in the lab and on the ward
Student life at a medical university with a high staff-to-student ratio


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.

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

2018 Rank 2017 rank University Country/Region Number of students per one member of staff 
1 5 Jikei University School of Medicine Japan 0.6
2 1 Oregon Health and Science University US 1.0
3 NR Kansai Medical University Japan 1.1
4 2 Saitama Medical University Japan 1.5
5 =3 Rush University US 2.1
=6 =6 Showa University Japan 2.4
=6 =6 University of Nebraska Medical Center US 2.4
8 NR Medical University of Vienna Austria 2.7
9 NR Shiga University of Medical Science Japan 3.0
10 NR Fujita Health University Japan 3.1
11 9 Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) Japan 3.2
=12 NR Nara Medical University Japan 3.3
=12 8 Vanderbilt University US 3.3
14 =21 Yokohama City University Japan 3.5
15 =11 Juntendo University Japan 3.7
16 NR Hamamatsu University School of Medicine Japan 3.8
17 =11 Bauman Moscow State Technical University Russia 4.0
=18 =17 Wake Forest University US 4.1
=18 14 University of Copenhagen Denmark 4.1
=20 10 Johns Hopkins University US 4.3
=20 =17 University of Rochester US 4.3
=20 NR Lincoln  University New Zealand 4.3
=20 =15 Yale University US 4.3
=24 =15 Emory University US 4.4
=24 19 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden 4.4
26 20 Duke University US 4.5
=27 NR University of Colorado Denver US 5.0
=27 NR State University of Western Paraná (Unioeste) Brazil 5.0
=27 =23 National Yang-Ming University Taiwan 5.0
30 =21 École Polytechnique France 5.1
31 NR Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Italy 5.2
=32 25 Tohoku University Japan 5.5
=32 NR Kitasato University Japan 5.5
34 =26 Saint Petersburg State University Russia 5.8
=35 33 University of Pittsburgh US 5.9
=35 37 University of Zurich Switzerland 5.9
=35 =34 University of Miami US 5.9
38 =29 Technical University of Denmark Denmark 6.0
=39 =49 King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Saudi Arabia 6.1
=39 =34 Columbia University US 6.1
41 38 University of Chicago US 6.2
=42 =46 Novosibirsk State University Russia 6.5
=42 =46 California Institute of Technology US 6.5
=42 =40 University of Pennsylvania US 6.5
=45 =46 Dartmouth College US 6.6
=45 =53 Nagasaki University Japan 6.6
=47 51 University of Yamanashi Japan 6.7
=47 52 University of Tokyo Japan 6.7
=49 =34 Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University Russia  6.8
=49 =29 Saint Louis University US 6.8
=49 NR University of Dhaka Bangladesh 6.8
=52 NR Medical University of Graz Austria 6.9
=52 =56 Capital Medical University China 6.9
54 55 Jiangsu University China 7.0
=55 =42 Case Western Reserve University US 7.1
=55 NR Tamil Nadu Agricultural University India 7.1
=55 =56 Norwegian University of Life Sciences Norway 7.1
=55 NR Vita-Salute San Raffaele University Italy 7.1
=59 =63 University of Kansas US 7.2
=59 =53 Oita University Japan 7.2
=61 =58 Lomonosov Moscow State University Russia 7.3
=61 =58 Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan 7.3
=63 =58 Osaka Prefecture University Japan 7.4
=63 =65 Southern Federal University Russia 7.4
=65 =29 Washington University in St Louis US 7.5
=65 =65 Stanford University US 7.5
=67 NR National Research Nuclear University MEPhI Russia 7.6
=67 =42 Kyushu University Japan 7.6
=67 =73 Tehran University of Medical Sciences Iran 7.6
=70 =73 Kobe University Japan 7.8
=70 =61 Kumamoto University Japan 7.8
=72 =69 Nagoya University Japan 7.9
=72 =77 Okayama University Japan 7.9
=74 =73 Hokkaido University Japan 8.0
=74 =69 National University of Sciences and Technology Pakistan 8.0
=74 =77 Tottori University Japan 8.0
=74 =91 Sultan Qaboos University Oman 8.0
=74 =69 Nagoya City University Japan 8.0
=74 NR Gifu University Japan 8.0
=74 NR Shimane University Japan 8.0
=81 =77 Linköping University Sweden 8.1
=81 =91 Niigata University Japan 8.1
=81 =82 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia 8.1
=84 =73 University of Science and Technology of China China 8.2
=84 =82 Yamagata University Japan 8.2
=84 =40 Tomsk Polytechnic University Russia 8.2
=84 NR G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar India 8.2
=88 =77 Hiroshima University Japan 8.3
=88 =82 Tomsk State University Russia 8.3
=88 =96 National Technical University of Ukraine – Kyiv Polytechnic Institute Ukraine 8.3
=88 NR University of Miyazaki Japan 8.3
=88 =86 Princeton University US 8.3
=88 =86 University of Alaska Fairbanks US 8.3
=88 NR University of Ferrara Italy 8.3
=88 95 Khalifa University United Arab Emirates 8.3
=88 NR Far Eastern Federal University Russia 8.3
=97 =82 Indian Institute of Science India 8.4
=97 NR Kochi University Japan 8.4
=99 =93 National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon (INSA Lyon) France 8.5
=99 =96 Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod Russia 8.5
=99 =86 École Normale Supérieure de Lyon France 8.5

Read more: The world’s best small universities

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