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 universities in the top five are specialist institutions, with four of them dedicated to medical teaching. 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.
The US dominates the list, with 32 universities featured. Japan comes in second with 26 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
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.
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.
=3. Rush University
Rush University is another 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 institution is a National Centre of the Government of India and works under the umbrella of the Department of Atomic Energy.
The university was founded at the time of India’s independence in 1945 to promote advanced scientific research. The university’s initial research focus was high-energy physics, cosmic rays and mathematics. Over time, the research focus has broadened to include physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer science and science education. The institution was also the birthplace of India’s atomic energy programme, and the country’s first digital computer was built at the university in 1957.
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was given official university status in June 2002 and is currently building a new campus in Hyderabad to house more research labs and accommodation. There are also campuses in Pune and Bangalore.
Located at the southernmost tip of Mumbai, the university combines rural features such as botanical gardens with the nearby bustling city centre.
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.