On September 11, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) released the World University Rankings for the year 2012.
The rankings by QS, a leading networking organisation specialising in higher education, are based on each institution’s strengths in research, teaching, employability of graduates and international presence.
While 700 global universities feature on the list, six universities from the United States of America and four from the United Kingdom comprise the top 10.
The US also leads the overall rankings, with 130 of the world’s top 700 universities; 13 universities are in the top 20 bracket.
Other nations that feature in the top 100 include the United Kingdom (18 universities), Japan (six), Australia (seven) and Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Hong Kong with four universities each.
Disappointingly, no Indian university features in the top 200.
In tenth place is the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Located in the US state of California, the institute was established in 1891.
The 124-acre campus houses six academic divisions catering to science and engineering.
It has an annual enrolment of over 900 undergraduates and 1,200 post graduates.
Next is Princeton University, also in the US (Princeton, New Jersey).
Established in 1891, the Ivy league college offers programmes in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.
The prestigious institute has produced 35 Nobel laureates, 17 National Medal of Science winners and three National Humanities Medal winners.
The University of Chicago, USA, comes in at Number Eight this year.
Founded in 1890, it enrolls over 5,000 undergraduates and 10,000 post graduates every year to a multitude of disciplines and various programmes.
So far, the university has produced 87 Nobel laureates, 49 Rhodes Scholars and nine Fields Medalists.
America’s Yale University nabs seventh place in this year’s QS rankings.
Established in 1701, the Ivy league research institute boasts of its affiliation to nine Nobel laureates among alumni, faculty and staff.
Five US Presidents, 19 US Supreme Court Justices, and several foreign heads of state have all graduated from here.
In sixth place is the UK’s Imperial College London.
It was inaugurated on July 8, 1907 and currently houses four colleges, namely the Imperial College Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, the Imperial College Faculty of Engineering and the Imperial College Business School.
It has an annual enrollment of over 13,500 students and 3,330 academic and research staff.
Staying put in fifth spot from 2011 is the University of Oxford in the UK.
With its exact date of establishment unknown (according to the QS web site, it was founded in 1200), it is recognised as one of the oldest universities in the world and consists of thirty-eight colleges of the University of Oxford and six Permanent Private Halls, offering a wide range of disciplines — humanities, most social sciences, some mathematical, physical, and life sciences.
Oxford’s prestigious alumni list boasts of personalities and achievers from diverse fields which range from arts and entertainment to science, governance and business.
Inching up three places from last year is the University College of London, at Number Four.
Established in 1826, it was the first university in the country to not only admit students on a secular basis, but also to admit women on equal terms with men. Today, it offers a vast range of disciplines that range from arts and humanities to brain sciences, engineering, law, mathematics and medicine.
Currently, it enrolls over 12,000 undergraduates and 10,000 post graduates annually.
In second place we have the venerable Harvard University, another Ivy League institute.
Established in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest educational institution in the United States.
It caters to over 21,000 students annually over various graduate and postgraduate programmes and offers a staggering 46 undergraduate concentrations (majors), 134 graduate degrees and 32 professional degrees over a mind-boggling range of arts and science disciplines, as well as business studies.
Eight US presidents have been graduates, and 75 Nobel Laureates have been student, faculty, or staff affiliates.
The UK’s University of Cambridge slipped from the top spot last year to Number Two in 2012.
Founded in 1209, it is the second oldest university in the country. Cambridge comprises several self-governing and independent colleges, with their own endowments and properties, which offer streams ranging from mathematics and the sciences to humanities, music, art and literature.
It claims to have produced 65 Nobel laureates, the highest in the world so far.
Rising up two places from last year’s rankings, the US’ Massachusetts Institute of Technology claims the top spot this year.
Popularly known as MIT, the private research university was founded in 1861. It comprises five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.
It has an annual enrolment of over 4,000 undergraduate and 6,500 postgraduate students.