Most prestigious universities in Latin America revealed

Brazil dominates the list of Latin America’s best universities as judged by Times Higher Education’s Academic Reputation Survey

May 26, 2016
University of São Paulo Faculty of Law: Best universities in Latin America
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Faculty of Law of the University of São Paulo

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Brazil has five of Latin America’s most prestigious universities, with the University of São Paulo topping a new list of the region’s elite higher education institutions.

As attention turns to Rio de Janeiro ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games, the new assessment based on Times Higher Education’s Academic Reputation Survey indicates that Brazil’s universities are the most highly regarded seats of learning in Latin America.

With the exception of one institution in Mexico, the reputation ranking is made up of universities in South America.

The University of São Paulo takes top spot in the first-ever reputation-only ranking, with the State University of Campinas in third place and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in fifth.

Universidade Federal de São Paulo (6th) and the Federal University of Minas Gerais (9th) also make the top 10, which is based on a survey of more than 10,000 leading academics from across the globe.

Outside Brazil, the National Autonomous University of Mexico took second place in our Latin America list, with Argentina’s University of Buenos Aires ranked fourth.

The University of Chile (7th) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (8th) complete the top 10, alongside Colombia’s Universidad Nacional de Colombia (10th).

The ranking, published on 26 May, comes ahead of THE’s inaugural Latin America Summit at Antonio Narino University in Bogotá, Colombia, in July, where a more comprehensive list of the region’s top 50 universities – based on multiple indicators including teaching, research, industry engagement and international outlook – will be released.

Phil Baty, editor of THE’s World University Rankings, said the summit would also begin a wider debate on how a ranking could be tailored to reflect the particular strengths of universities in Latin America.

“At our inaugural Latin America Summit, we will release a new pilot Latin America university ranking using a wider range of indicators. But more importantly, the summit will see the beginning of a full consultation with sector leaders on how Times Higher Education should build a new, bespoke Latin America University Ranking, directly mapped to the missions and priorities of universities in the region,” Mr Baty said.

On the reputation ranking, Mr Baty said it was good to see so many countries represented among the region’s elite.

“Institutions in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia are all seen among the leaders in the continent,” he said, adding that the data suggest that there is “healthy and positive competition between nations’ flagship institutions, which should help drive up quality across these nations and the region more widely”.

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Top 10 most prestigious universities in Latin America 2016

Rank Institution Country
1 University of São Paulo Brazil
2 National Autonomous University of Mexico Mexico
3 State University of Campinas Brazil
4 University of Buenos Aires Argentina
5 Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Brazil
6 Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) Brazil
7 University of Chile Chile
8 Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Chile
9 Federal University of Minas Gerais Brazil
10 Universidad Nacional de Colombia Colombia

Source: THE DataPoints ©

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