The World’s Best Research Universities

Posted on August 19, 2006  Comments (9)

Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University produces a ranking of the top universities annually (since 2003). The methodology used focuses on research (publications) and faculty quality (Fields and Nobel awards and citations). While this seems a very simplistic ranking it still provides some interesting data: highlights from the 2006 rankings of Top 500 Universities worldwide include:

Country representation in the top schools:

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location Top 101 % of World
% of World GDP % of top 500

54   4.6%   28.4%  33.4%
United Kingdom

10  0.9   5.1 8.6

  6 2.0 11.2 6.4

  4  0.5   2.4 8.0
The rest of Europe

18 4.4

  2   0.3   1.5 3.2

  1   0.1   0.3 1.4

Update: see our post on 2007 best research universities results

Top 10 schools:

  • Harvard University
  • Cambridge University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California at Berkeley
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT)
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Columbia University
  • Princeton University
  • University Chicago
  • Oxford University

I find this information interesting (even with the limitations). I would predict (as would most, I would imagine) that China and India will have much greater representation 10-20 years from now (those gains will have to come at the expense of others and I would imagine Europe and the USA will show relative declines).

Newsweek’s ranking of the top 100 global universities includes 8 of the top 10 schools from the Jiao Tong University ranking.


The class of 2006 by Adrian Wooldridge.

In 2005 eight of the top ten universities were American and 22 of the top 30.

Scientists in America will win more Nobel prizes than those in any other country and produce more high-quality academic articles. America will attract more foreign students than any other country, particularly among the world’s best and brightest.

Chinese Make Bid to Convert Universities Into World’s Best by Howard W. French

9 Responses to “The World’s Best Research Universities”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Problems in India’s Education System
    August 20th, 2006 @ 8:02 am

    […] Read more about the best universities in the world. […]

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Scientific Innovation and Economic Growth
    August 24th, 2006 @ 10:19 pm

    “Taken together, the result has been that Japan has one of the best-educated workforces in the world, particularly in science and technology…”

  3. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Academic Positions in Singapore
    October 5th, 2006 @ 5:18 pm

    The National University of Singapore is looking for a Head of Department and faculty in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering…

  4. Asia: Rising Stars of Science and Engineering
    January 22nd, 2007 @ 12:19 am

    Excellent reading, the report is full of useful information I have not been able to obsorb yet.

  5. CuriousCat: Ranking Univiersities Worldwide
    April 3rd, 2007 @ 8:55 am

    […] The various rankings should be a able to track shifts in the most influential institutions and relative country strength over time. How quickly those rankings track changes will vary depending on the measures used. I would imagine most will lag the “real” changes […]

  6. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Best Research University Rankings - 2007
    August 13th, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

    Some of the things I wish they would adjust.
    * Some method of valuing company creation (by “alumni”, even people that do so before graduating, and faculty) – giving larger value the greater the economic gain provided by the company. Also other ways of valuing economic value creation.
    * Split credit for Nobel and Fields winners among where they are when they won, where they did the research and where they are now…

  7. Anonymous
    January 19th, 2008 @ 4:25 am

    I’ve got to say, I attended Cambridge for 2 years reading Philosophy, and then spent my final year at the University of Chicago. The requirements in the USA seem to be much higher (volume-wise) than in the UK. Maybe it’s my background education in the UK, but it seemed much harder to get along in the US.

  8. Curious Cat Science Blog » Economic Strength Through Technology Leadership
    February 23rd, 2008 @ 8:50 pm

    The continued reduction in advanced science and engineering degrees awarded to USA citizens compared to the rest of the world is a leading indicator I believe…

  9. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Best Research University Rankings - 2008
    September 9th, 2008 @ 9:17 am

    There is little change in most of the data from last year, which I think is a good sign, it wouldn’t make much sense to have radical shifts over a year in these rankings…

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