For the 17th year running, Harvard University has topped the Academic Ranking of World Universities compiled by consultancy ShanghaiRanking.
The top three in the annual ranking remains unchanged from last year, with California Institute of Technology (ninth), and the University of Chicago (10th).
The US has the highest number of institutions in the top 100 with 45 universities present. The second most represented country in the top 100 is the UK with eight universities.
Kyoto University (32nd) are the highest ranked Asian universities.
The ShanghaiRanking Consultancy is an independent organisation dedicated to research on higher education intelligence and consultations. It has been the official publisher of the Academic Ranking of World Universities since 2009.
Top five universities in the 2019 ShanghaiRanking Academic Ranking of World Universities
Harvard University is the oldest university in the US, having been formed in 1636, and is considered one of the most prestigious in the world.
The museums affiliated with the institution hold more than 28 million works of art, artefacts, specimens and instruments.
Harvard’s alumni include eight US presidents, several foreign heads of state and 62 living billionaires. Some 130 Nobel laureates, 18 Fields Medallists, and 13 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with the university as students or staff.
Stanford University is known for nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit among its students, a legacy of its founders, Jane and Leland Stanford. It is also renowned for its relationship with Silicon Valley.
The 8,000-acre campus is located in California’s Bay Area. There are more than 625 student associations at the university, including the student newspaper, The Stanford Daily.
The University of Cambridge is the only UK university to feature in the top five. Cambridge affiliates have won some 90 Nobel prizes, and are represented in every category.
The list of high-achieving alumni from the institution is endless, but prominent among them are Stephen Hawking, David Attenborough, Virginia Woolf and Zadie Smith.
Researchers at this specialist science and technology institution invented one of the first large-scale high-speed computers in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1951. The Whirlwind I is still on display at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum.
Some 25,800 active companies have been started or co-founded by living MIT alumni, showing just how much impact MIT has had on innovation.
Rounding off the top five is the University of California, Berkeley. The university is not without its unusual traditions, and students are expected to roll down 4.0 Hill on campus to get good grades. However, if you step on the Berkeley seal nearby, it has been said that you will be cursed for the year.
The tradition obviously works as Berkeley faculty, alumni, and researchers include 91 Nobel laureates. The institution’s alumni have also achieved 13 Fields Medals, 23 Turing Awards, 45 MacArthur Fellowships, 20 Academy Awards, 14 Pulitzer Prizes and 117 Olympic gold medals.