Once more, the U.S. shows its superiority in University rankings by accounting for about one-third of the top 200 schools in the latest World University Rankings, released annually by Times Higher Education, same as last year.
Despite the strong showing by the U.S. universities, the best university in the world for 2016 comes from outside the nation. The University of Oxford (a British University) knocked off last year’s top spot holder – the California Institute of Technology – which is a small, private school in Pasadena that actually ranked No. 1 for five straight years, to become THE’s best university.
It will be the first time that a university outside the U.S. is No. 1 in the Times Higher Education list’s 13-year history. The list for this year also shows a great improvement in the university systems in Asia as schools in China and Hong Kong have climbed the ranks, some by double digits. African universities, however, saw no such improvement.
The first African University to feature on the list — the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa – showed up at number 182 and is the only African university in the top 200.
To determine the top universities, World University Rankings tends to focus on research, counting metrics like the number of citations and publications by a university’s scholars and the amount of research funding attained in a given year.
To that end, U.S led the pack of top Universities, British universities made up 16% of the list, down a percentage point from last year, and Germany claimed 11%, going up a percentage point.
Here are THE’s top ten best universities in the world;
- University of Oxford (U.K.)
- California Institute of Technology (U.S.)
- Stanford University (U.S.)
- University of Cambridge (U.K.)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.)
- Harvard University (U.S.)
- Princeton University (U.S.)
- Imperial College London (U.K.)
- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (SUI)
- University of California, Berkeley/University of Chicago (U.S.)
Times Higher Education cites Rajika Bhandari, deputy vice-president of research and evaluation at the Institute of International Education and co-editor of the book Asia: The Next Higher Education Superpower? as saying that the “sharp rise” of Asia’s universities is due to three main factors:
- rapidly growing populations and demand for higher education in the region
- governments making “significant investments” in universities; and
- improvements by individual institutions
These are a few of the things that Africa may like to look into, to improve her University systems and subsequently her showings in international rankings such as these.