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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
A day in the life of a student in France
Studying at Princeton University
Navigating Yale University
=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.
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
Read more: The world’s best small universities