Top universities with the best student-to-staff ratio 2021

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

Rankings for Students
February 11 2021
Top universities for best student to staff ratio


A lower student-to-staff ratio can help students 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 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. Because 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. 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 37 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.

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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 undergraduates 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 closer to central Tokyo and near the university hospital. Sendagi is also home to the university’s graduate school and its International Exchange Centre.

=1. 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 Fifa, as the medical provider for the Japan national football team.

=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 international exchange programmes 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.

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4. 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 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 in the Japanese city of Moriguchi, near Osaka. It was founded in 1928 as the Osaka Women’s Medical College, 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 2021

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2021 profile

Staff-to-student-ratio rank 2021 Staff-to-student ratio rank 2020 University Country Number of students per one member of staff
=1 =1 Nippon Medical School Japan 0.9
=1 =3 St Marianna University School of Medicine Japan 0.9
=1 =1 Jikei University School of Medicine Japan 0.9
4 =3 Oregon Health and Science University United States 1
5 5 Kansai Medical University Japan 1.1
6 NR Dokkyo Medical University Japan 1.3
7 6 Saitama Medical University Japan 1.5
8 7 Tokyo Medical University Japan 1.7
9 10 Showa University Japan 2
=10 =8 Rush University United States 2.2
=10 =8 Hyogo College of Medicine Japan 2.2
12 NR Kanazawa Medical University Japan 2.3
13 12 University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan Japan 2.5
14 11 University of Nebraska Medical Center United States 2.6
=15 13 Osaka Medical College Japan 2.7
=15 14 Aichi Medical University Japan 2.7
17 15 Vanderbilt University United States 3
=18 17 Fujita Health University Japan 3.1
=18 16 Shiga University of Medical Science Japan 3.1
=20 21 Sapporo Medical University Japan 3.3
=20 20 Kyoto Prefectural University of  Medicine Japan 3.3
=22 =18 Nara Medical University Japan 3.4
=22 =18 Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) Japan 3.4
24 =22 Hamamatsu University School of Medicine Japan 3.8
25 NR Kerman University of Medical Sciences Iran 3.9
=26 =24 Emory University United States 4
=26 NR University of Colorado Denver United States 4
=28 =24 Wake Forest University United States 4.1
=28 =22 Juntendo University Japan 4.1
30 =27 University of Copenhagen Denmark 4.2
31 =27 Duke University United States 4.3
=32 =31 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden 4.4
=32 =31 Johns Hopkins University United States 4.4
=32 =31 Yokohama City University Japan 4.4
35 =40 Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Kazakhstan 4.6
36 =27 Acıbadem University Turkey 4.7
=37 36 National Yang-Ming University Taiwan 4.8
=37 =57 Capital Medical University China 4.8
39 26 University of Rochester United States 4.9
40 47 University of Leoben Austria 5
41 NR Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) Brazil 5.3
=42 =38 Kitasato University Japan 5.4
=42 =40 Télécom Paris France 5.4
=44 =43 École Polytechnique France 5.6
=44 35 Bauman Moscow State Technical University Russian Federation 5.6
=46 =45 Columbia University United States 5.7
=46 =45 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus United States 5.7
48 =43 The University of Chicago United States 5.9
49 =38 Yale University United States 6
50 48 Novosibirsk State University Russian Federation 6.2
=51 =49 University of Miami United States 6.3
=51 53 California Institute of Technology United States 6.3
=51 NR Medical University of Warsaw Poland 6.3
=51 =49 Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University Russian Federation 6.3
=55 54 University of Pennsylvania United States 6.4
=55 =49 University of Yamanashi Japan 6.4
=57 NR Saveetha University India 6.5
=57 =60 Tehran University of Medical Sciences Iran 6.5
=59 37 L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University Kazakhstan 6.7
=59 NR Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM) Spain 6.7
=59 =57 Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Italy 6.7
=59 =55 Technical University of Denmark Denmark 6.7
=59 =49 University of Technology, Iraq Iraq 6.7
=64 =57 King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Saudi Arabia 6.8
=64 =60 Norwegian University of Life Sciences Norway 6.8
66 NR King George‘s Medical University India 6.9
=67 =67 Saint Petersburg State University Russian Federation 7.1
=67 63 Nagasaki University Japan 7.1
=67 NR Sofia University Bulgaria 7.1
=70 NR The Catholic University of Korea South Korea 7.2
=70 =85 Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod Russian Federation 7.2
=70 =80 University of Science and Technology of China China 7.2
73 =60 King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences Saudi Arabia 7.3
=74 =70 Pontifical Catholic University of Peru Peru 7.4
=74 =64 Stanford University United States 7.4
=74 =67 Osaka University Japan 7.4
=74 =74 Nagoya City University Japan 7.4
=78 =74 Gifu University Japan 7.5
=78 =64 Kurume University Japan 7.5
=78 =74 Shimane University Japan 7.5
=78 =91 National University of Sciences and Technology Pakistan 7.5
=78 =70 Washington University in St Louis United States 7.5
=83 =80 Dartmouth College United States 7.6
=83 =70 Tottori University Japan 7.6
=85 =85 University of Miyazaki Japan 7.7
=85 =98 Sechenov University Russian Federation 7.7
=85 =80 Gunma University Japan 7.7
=85 =67 Sultan Qaboos University Oman 7.7
=89 =85 Niigata University Japan 7.8
=89 NR Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca Romania 7.8
=89 =80 Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan 7.8
=89 =74 Kumamoto University Japan 7.8
=89 NR Belarusian State University Belarus 7.8
=89 =85 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia 7.8
=95 NR Tomsk Polytechnic University Russian Federation 7.9
=95 NR Universitas Gadjah Mada Indonesia 7.9
=95 NR National University of Cuyo Argentina 7.9
=95 =91 Kochi University Japan 7.9
=99 =91 Princeton University United States 8
=99 NR National Technical University Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute Ukraine 8
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