Top 100 universities with the best student-to-staff ratio

Universities with more staff per student have a good chance of creating an engaged and interactive teaching environment. These are the top 100 universities in the world with the best ratios of students to teachers.
February 22 2016

The top 100 universities with the best student-to-staff ratios are predominantly US colleges, closely followed by Japanese institutions.

Not a single UK university appears in the list, which includes institutions across 23 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Map of universities in student-staff ratio ranking

Unsurprisingly, the universities with the fewest students per staff member are small universities with a total enrolment of less than 5,000 students.

But many larger institutions, such as Johns Hopkins University in the United States, which has more than 15,000 students, also manage to maintain a favourable student-to-staff ratio. John Hopkins, which ranks in the World University Rankings 2016 in 11th position, has just over three and a half students for every staff member.

The California Institute of Technology – both the best small university in the world and the top institution overall – just makes the top 50 with almost seven students for every teacher. The University of Dhaka in Bangladesh has the same student-to-staff ratio despite counting more than 62,000 current students, making it the largest student body in the top 100.

Find out more about the top universities in Asia

All the top 100 are within the 600 best universities in the World University Rankings 2016; none has more than nine students for every staff member – well below the average 16.5 students per staff member for all 800 universities in the World University Rankings.

Outside the top 100, the UK university with the lowest student-to-staff ratio is University College London, which has 10.7 students per staff member.

Top 10 universities for best student to staff ratios

At the Medical College of Wisconsin, there are in fact more staff than students, providing close attention and support for trainee doctors.

Although a low student-to-staff ratio does generally imply smaller class sizes, it is only a crude estimation of how much attention individual students will receive.

At least as relevant as average class size, which often varies by degree subject within the same university, is the number of hours students spend with their teachers.

While comprehensive data about contact hours for different courses at different institutions around the world are not easy to come by, prospective students can get a better idea of this, as well as other elements of the teaching environment at their desired colleges, by talking directly with current students.

Contact hours, like student-to-staff ratios, may be quantifiable, but even these data cannot tell you about how attentive and enthusiastic lecturers are, how quickly they reply to emails and turn around marked coursework, or what kinds of relationships they have with their students.

Nonetheless, having more staff relative to students is certainly a good grounding for creating a teaching environment with a high level of interaction, engagement and academic support.

At the University of Copenhagen – which is ranked in the top 15 – there are just over four students for every staff member, but current sociology student Malthe Agger reports having about 100 students in his lectures and 20 to 30 in workshops.

Even in the larger classes, he has managed to cultivate relaxed and informal relationships with his teachers.

He says: “I consider many of my professors as great academic icons, so I always make sure to talk to them in the breaks because not only are they always friendly and open, but I always learn new things every time I speak to them.

“I have never been afraid to ask a question during a lecture or student training. I think of many of my teachers as friends and equals, even though our degree and title might be different.”

 Top 100 universities with the best student-to-staff ratios

Rank

World University Rank 2016

University

Country

No. of FTE Students

Student:Staff Ratio

1

301-350

Medical College of Wisconsin

United States of America

1,211

0.6

2

201-250

Oregon Health and Science University

United States of America

2,838

1.1

3

201-250

Rush University

United States of America

1,855

2.1

4

601-800

Showa University

Japan

3,675

2.5

5

351-400

University of Nebraska Medical Center

United States of America

2,857

2.6

6

201-250

Medical University of Vienna

Austria

7,426

2.9

7

401-500

Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)

Japan

2,872

3.3

=8

11

Johns Hopkins University

United States of America

15,128

3.6

=8

87

Vanderbilt University

United States of America

12,161

3.6

=10

601-800

Juntendo University

Japan

3,955

3.7

=10

601-800

Yokohama City University

Japan

4,122

3.7

12

501-600

Bauman Moscow State Technical University

Russian Federation

18,808

4

13

82

University of Copenhagen

Denmark

27,545

4.1

14

12

Yale University

United States of America

11,751

4.4

=15

90

Emory University

United States of America

12,338

4.5

=15

158

University of Rochester

United States of America

9,390

4.5

=17

201-250

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Sweden

3,879

4.6

=17

201-250

Wake Forest University

United States of America

7,326

4.6

=19

20

Duke University

United States of America

15,172

4.8

=19

101

École Polytechnique

France

2,429

4.8

=21

167

Technical University of Denmark

Denmark

9,990

5

=21

201-250

Tohoku University

Japan

17,200

5

23

401-500

Saint Petersburg State University

Russian Federation

20,836

5.2

=24

401-500

National Yang-Ming University

Taiwan

4,496

5.4

=24

501-600

Université de Sherbrooke

Canada

13,438

5.4

26

164

Yeshiva University

United States of America

6,753

5.5

27

88

Kyoto University

Japan

22,809

5.6

=28

43

University of Tokyo

Japan

26,199

5.7

=28

60

Washington University in St Louis

United States of America

12,528

5.7

=28

161

University of Miami

United States of America

15,286

5.7

=31

79

University of Pittsburgh

United States of America

26,485

5.8

=31

251-300

Saint Louis University

United States of America

11,919

5.8

33

15

Columbia University

United States of America

25,055

5.9

34

601-800

Suez Canal University

Egypt

16,817

6

35

133

Case Western Reserve University

United States of America

9,259

6.4

=36

17

University of Pennsylvania

United States of America

20,376

6.5

=36

39

University of California, San Diego

United States of America

27,233

6.5

=36

104

University of Zurich

Switzerland

26,583

6.5

=36

351-400

University of New Mexico

United States of America

23,618

6.5

=40

104

Dartmouth College

United States of America

6,178

6.6

=40

195

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Germany

6,853

6.6

=40

601-800

Amrita University

India

17,273

6.6

=43

401-500

Kyushu University

Japan

18,925

6.7

=43

601-800

National University of Science and Technology (MISiS)

Russian Federation

4,441

6.7

=45

30

New York University

United States of America

42,056

6.8

=45

401-500

Howard University

United States of America

10,297

6.8

=47

1

California Institute of Technology

United States of America

2,243

6.9

=47

10

University of Chicago

United States of America

14,221

6.9

=47

251-300

Tomsk Polytechnic University

Russian Federation

11,902

6.9

=47

601-800

University of Dhaka

Bangladesh

62,716

6.9

51

601-800

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

Russian Federation

5,395

7

=52

201-250

City University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

10,015

7.1

=52

401-500

Novosibirsk State University

Russian Federation

7,131

7.1

=52

501-600

Blaise Pascal University

France

15,619

7.1

=52

501-600

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

Saudi Arabia

6,898

7.1

=52

601-800

Capital Medical University

China

11,506

7.1

=57

201-250

Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University

Russian Federation

17,155

7.2

=57

601-800

Nagasaki University

Japan

9,137

7.2

=59

63

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

United States of America

26,518

7.3

=59

201-250

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Japan

9,586

7.3

=59

301-350

National Research Nuclear University MePhI

Russian Federation

7,801

7.3

=62

501-600

Mahidol University

Thailand

27,402

7.5

=62

601-800

Osaka Prefecture University

Japan

8,051

7.5

64

601-800

Kumamoto University

Japan

10,226

7.6

=65

161

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Russian Federation

30,822

7.7

=65

251-300

Linköping University

Sweden

17,866

7.7

=67

3

Stanford University

United States of America

15,596

7.8

=67

251-300

Osaka University

Japan

23,144

7.8

=67

601-800

National University of Sciences and Technology

Pakistan

9,808

7.8

=70

54

École Normale Supérieure

France

2,400

7.9

=70

201-250

University of Science and Technology of China

China

14,290

7.9

=70

301-350

Nagoya University

Japan

15,529

7.9

73

201-250

École Normale Supérieure de Lyon

France

2,218

8

=74

251-300

Indian Institute of Science

India

3,318

8.2

=74

301-350

University of Alaska Fairbanks

United States of America

3,837

8.2

=74

401-500

Hokkaido University

Japan

18,162

8.2

=74

401-500

National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon (INSA Lyon)

France

6,137

8.2

=74

501-600

Hiroshima University

Japan

14,686

8.2

=74

601-800

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Ukraine

22,686

8.2

=74

601-800

Tottori University

Japan

6,248

8.2

81

42

Peking University

China

40,148

8.3

=82

7

Princeton University

United States of America

7,929

8.4

=82

117

University of Maryland, College Park

United States of America

31,331

8.4

=82

251-300

King Abdulaziz University

Saudi Arabia

35,889

8.4

=82

251-300

Tulane University

United States of America

11,381

8.4

=82

601-800

Kobe University

Japan

15,885

8.4

=87

94

Georgetown University

United States of America

15,408

8.5

=87

180

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Italy

769

8.5

=87

351-400

University of Oulu

Finland

14,056

8.5

=87

401-500

University of Neuchâtel

Switzerland

4,358

8.5

=87

601-800

Niigata University

Japan

12,460

8.5

=92

64

Boston University

United States of America

24,789

8.6

=92

601-800

Okayama University

Japan

13,035

8.6

94

113

Pierre and Marie Curie University

France

27,862

8.7

=95

6

Harvard University

United States of America

20,152

8.9

=95

501-600

American University of Beirut

Lebanon

7,695

8.9

=95

601-800

Tokushima University

Japan

7,519

8.9

=96

5

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

United States of America

11,074

9

=96

21

University of Michigan

United States of America

41,786

9

=96

101

Rice University

United States of America

6,333

9

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Related articles