America leads in higher education

University of California, Berkeley, student Dominique Donette, left, talks to prospective students and family members during a pre-pandemic tour of a residential complex on campus. (© Ray Chavez/The Oakland Tribune/Alamy)
University of California, Berkeley, student Dominique Donette, left, talks to prospective students and family members during a pre-pandemic tour of a residential complex on campus. (© Ray Chavez/The Oakland Tribune/Alamy)

Eight U.S. universities made the “top 10” in a global ranking of universities.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 ranks the best universities in the world, rating them on teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The annual ranking assesses more than 1,500 institutions of higher learning across 93 countries and regions.

This year Oxford University in the United Kingdom comes in at Number 1, but American schools rank numbers 2–5 and 7–10.

Here are the top 10, in order: 1) University of Oxford, 2) Stanford University, 3) Harvard University, 4) California Institute of Technology, 5) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 6) University of Cambridge, 7) University of California, Berkeley, 8) Yale University, 9) Princeton University, 10) University of Chicago.

(State Dept./S. Gemeny Wilkinson)

The University of California, Berkeley, jumped six places since last year’s ranking, to claim the Number 7 position.

Several top U.S. universities that focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are among the highest-ranked schools. But with a rankings formula that now includes publication of books and book chapters as “research outputs” in addition to articles, schools focusing on arts and humanities are better represented. In fact, many traditional STEM schools, recognizing the value of a well-rounded education, are devoting more resources to their arts and humanities programs.

Some top schools with a strong STEM focus — such as Stanford University (rated Number 2 overall), Harvard (Number 3) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Number 5) — earn top marks in arts and humanities too.

If you want to study in the U.S., find resources at EducationUSA.