Top universities with the best student-to-staff ratio 2020

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

February 11 2020
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 number of staff and students at each university, and from this we can calculate the student-to-staff ratio. The full methodology of the World University Rankings 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 more 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 institutions on this list – such as Johns Hopkins University and Duke University – have large student populations (about 15,000 each), so this isn’t always the case.

Japan dominates the list, with 38 universities featured. The US comes in second with 21 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. Nippon Medical School

Nippon Medical School is a private medical school in Tokyo. It is the oldest private medical university in Japan, having been founded in 1876.

The university has two campuses. Musashisakai is about 40 minutes west of the city centre and is where first-year undergraduate students take courses in basic sciences and liberal arts.

For the second year through to the sixth year, medical training takes place at the Sendagi campus, which is much closer to central Tokyo and nearby to the university hospital. Sendagi is also home to the university’s graduate school and its International Exchange Centre.

=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 a 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.

=3. St Marianna University School of Medicine

Founded in 1971, St Marianna University School of Medicine is Japan’s only medical university with a Christian ethos, as it is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

In addition to medical studies, the institution offers a degree in comparative religious studies.

The curriculum consists of initial practical training in the first three years and clinical clerkship in the latter three years.

The university is the first in Asia to be approved as a medical centre for the FIFA world soccer association, as the medical provider for the Japan national football team.


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=3. 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.

5. 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 founded 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: 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, paediatrics and dermatology.


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

Student- to-staff ratio rank 2020 Student- to-staff ratio rank 2019 University Country/region Number of students per one member of staff
=1 =44 Nippon Medical School Japan 0.9
=1 1 Jikei University School of Medicine Japan 0.9
=3 NR St Marianna University School of Medicine Japan 1.0
=3 2 Oregon Health and Science University United States 1.0
5 3 Kansai Medical University Japan 1.1
6 =5 Saitama Medical University Japan 1.5
7 =5 Tokyo Medical University Japan 1.6
=8 7 Hyogo College of Medicine Japan 2.0
=8 4 Rush University United States 2.0
10 8 Showa University Japan 2.1
11 9 University of Nebraska Medical Center United States 2.3
12 NR University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan Japan 2.6
13 NR Osaka Medical College Japan 2.7
14 10 Aichi Medical University Japan 2.8
15 =11 Vanderbilt University United States 3.0
16 NR Shiga University of Medical Science Japan 3.1
17 =11 Fujita Health University Japan 3.2
=18 13 Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) Japan 3.3
=18 =15 Nara Medical University Japan 3.3
20 NR Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine Japan 3.4
21 14 Sapporo Medical University Japan 3.5
=22 =18 Hamamatsu University School of Medicine Japan 3.8
=22 =18 Juntendo University Japan 3.8
=24 21 Wake Forest University United States 4.0
=24 =23 Emory University United States 4.0
26 =23 University of Rochester United States 4.2
=27 NR Medical University of Innsbruck Austria 4.3
=27 =25 University of Copenhagen Denmark 4.3
=27 NR Acıbadem University Turkey 4.3
=27 =25 Duke University United States 4.3
=31 =29 Johns Hopkins University United States 4.5
=31 17 Yokohama City University Japan 4.5
=31 =25 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden 4.5
34 NR State University of Santa Cruz Brazil 4.7
35 20 Bauman Moscow State Technical University Russian Federation 4.8
36 32 National Yang-Ming University Taiwan 5.1
37 =29 L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University Kazakhstan 5.3
=38 33 Yale University United States 5.4
=38 34 Kitasato University Japan 5.4
=40 NR Télécom Paris France 5.6
=40 NR Ufa State Aviation Technical University Russian Federation 5.6
=40 =29 Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Kazakhstan 5.6
=43 =42 University of Chicago United States 5.7
=43 37 École Polytechnique France 5.7
=45 41 Columbia University United States 5.8
=45 =39 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus United States 5.8
47 =42 University of Leoben Austria 5.9
48 =48 Novosibirsk State University Russian Federation 6.2
=49 NR University of Technology, Iraq Iraq 6.3
=49 38 Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University Russian Federation 6.3
=49 =48 University of Yamanashi Japan 6.3
=49 =39 University of Miami United States 6.3
53 =51 California Institute of Technology United States 6.4
54 =48 University of Pennsylvania United States 6.5
=55 =51 Technical University of Denmark Denmark 6.6
=55 =51 Southern Medical University China 6.6
=57 =54 Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Italy 6.8
=57 =44 King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Saudi Arabia 6.8
=57 61 Capital Medical University China 6.8
=60 =25 King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences Saudi Arabia 6.9
=60 =56 Norwegian University of Life Sciences Norway 6.9
=60 =62 Tehran University of Medical Sciences Iran 6.9
63 =56 Nagasaki University Japan 7.0
=64 =62 Lomonosov Moscow State University Russian Federation 7.3
=64 NR Kurume University Japan 7.3
=64 70 Stanford University United States 7.3
=67 =64 Saint Petersburg State University Russian Federation 7.4
=67 NR Sultan Qaboos University Oman 7.4
=67 =78 Osaka University Japan 7.4
=70 60 Pontifical Catholic University of Peru Peru 7.5
=70 =64 Washington University in St Louis United States 7.5
=70 NR Howard University United States 7.5
=70 =91 Tottori University Japan 7.5
=74 =71 Nagoya City University Japan 7.6
=74 =64 Tamil Nadu Agricultural University India 7.6
=74 NR Indian Institute of Technology Ropar India 7.6
=74 =80 Gifu University Japan 7.6
=74 =76 Kumamoto University Japan 7.6
=74 =80 Shimane University Japan 7.6
=80 =54 Dartmouth College United States 7.7
=80 NR Federal Rural University of the Semi-Arid Region Brazil 7.7
=80 =64 Gunma University Japan 7.7
=80 NR University of Science and Technology of China China 7.7
=80 =71 Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan 7.7
=85 =86 Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod Russian Federation 7.9
=85 =86 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia 7.9
=85 =97 University of Miyazaki Japan 7.9
=85 =80 Niigata University Japan 7.9
=89 =80 Okayama University Japan 8.0
=89 NR University of Malaya Malaysia 8.0
=91 NR King Khalid University Saudi Arabia 8.1
=91 =80 Hokkaido University Japan 8.1
=91 NR École des Mines de Saint-Étienne France 8.1
=91 =74 National University of Sciences and Technology Pakistan 8.1
=91 =91 Princeton University United States 8.1
=91 =91 Kochi University Japan 8.1
=91 =80 Medical University of Vienna Austria 8.1
=98 NR Sechenov University Russian Federation 8.2
=98 36 Tohoku University Japan 8.2
=98 =86 IMT Atlantique France 8.2

Read more: The world’s best small universities

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