Higher education, similarly to other areas, is subject to annual ranking by a number of official institutions and private organizations. And so far, one of the main competitors on the market – Times Higher Education (THE), has already presented some results. In this article, you will learn more about some of the best universities in Europe for 2019 according to THE’s World University Rankings.
For those who are more curious, the process of collecting, preparing and presenting university data is no easy task. The methodology, on the other hand, is rather explainable. With a set of 13 performance-based, sophisticated indicators, the ranking of Times Higher Education evaluates different areas of a chosen university. Citations, research and teaching are among the key ones and bring specific weight to the overall final rank.
To have a better understanding, QS Top Universities is among the other bigger players in the world of university rankings and relies on a system of 6 metrics:
Visibly, these are more or less similar to the indicators seen in THE’s World University Rankings but in a more generalized outlook. Finally, although there is currently still no data for 2019, the Academic Ranking of World Universities is yet another respected source that takes into account even more interesting information like the number of alumni, awards and medallists.
Regardless, this is the formula that practically brings up ranks as results, with Times Higher Education bringing up more than 1,250 universities from over 86 countries into their rankings.
Since 2017, the University of Oxford has remained on the #1 spot in the list followed directly by the University of Cambridge. These are the first two representatives coming from the United Kingdom, as the country is home to a total of 98 listed universities within this ranking.
Often also simply called “Oxford”, this institution is the oldest university in the English-speaking world established back in the 11th century. It represents students with one of the best satisfaction levels regarding course quality – over 90%, while the drop-out rate is one of the lowest in the UK right at 1.3% in 2017. The University of Oxford offers around 350 postgraduate courses, with 63% of the university’s current graduates coming from abroad.
On the other hand, the University of Cambridge roots us back to the 13th century. The list of most notable alumni includes Charles Darwin – the Father of Evolution, Isaac Newton – one of the Fathers of Physics, and Stephen Hawking – nicknamed “Einstein”. Enough said, right?
Up next, ranked as 3rd in Europe is ETH Zurich – or the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology located in Switzerland. With a 150-year history and more than 6,000 Masters students, the institution is related with the names of 21 Nobel Prize winners including Albert Einstein. And if you are into Data, Medicine or Sustainability, then you should know that ETH Zurich is focused primarily on these study areas.
One additional fun fact is that according to QS World University Rankings, ETH Zurich is in the world Top 10 while Times Higher Education place this university on the 11th spot.
University College London is the 4th best European higher education institution, also known as London’s Global University or simply UCL. It is the first university in England that allowed the admission of women on equal terms with men. A total of 29 people who were academics at the UCL have received a Nobel Prize. Oh, and some of the university buildings there are also famous – with notable films such as “Batman Begins”, “Gladiator” and “Inception” including them!
Ranked #5 and #6 on the European continent we have the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Edinburgh. In 2017, LSE received a whopping 20,000 applications while the number of enrolled postgraduate students for the same year exceeded 10,000. The most common career paths followed by graduates include the fields of Banking, Consultancy, Finance, Government and Politics with an average salary of £40,265.
Respectively, the University of Edinburgh was founded in the 16th century – in 1583, at a time when it was known as “the Town’s College”. As of today, it is one of the most respected Scottish higher education institutions, with renowned schools and faculties of Arts, Law, Medicine, Music and Social Science. Figures such as Sir Walter Scott and Alexander Graham Bell are among the notable academics.
Ranked 7th there is LMU Munich better known as the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Interestingly, it is the second biggest German university established back during the 15th century in the city of Ingolstadt. You read that right, it was not until the year of 1826 when the institution finally moved to Munich. The LMU is widely considered as an elite university proud of a total of 34 Nobel Prize winners, mostly for their contribution in the field of science.
For #8 we will head back to Switzerland and get to know more about the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Founded in 1969, the EPFL welcomes more than 11,000 students from over 116 countries who are mainly engaged in Engineering and Science disciplines. What is more, 2/3 of the funding is secured by the Swiss Government while for 2018 alone, there were 132 inventions and 90 patents coming from the brightest minds of the prestigious college.
Rounding up the last ranks of the Top 10 on European land we have the King’s College London in the UK, the Karolinska Institute – a representative of Sweden, and finally the PSL Research University in France. Commonly seen as “King’s”, this British higher education institution is the 4th oldest in England that is exceptionally reputable for what it can offer in the study fields of Law, Humanities and the Sciences. Even more, around 84% of the research at King’s College London is either labelled “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”.
As for the 9th top European university usually seen as the “Karolinska Institutet”, it is the largest Swedish academic centre offering medical courses and research. It was established in 1810 by King Karl XIII for the training of army surgeons. Nowadays, almost 6,000 full-time students attend the KI with the institution offering excellent Masters programmes delivered in English such as Bioentrepreneurship, Biomedicine, Health Informatics, Nutrition Science and many more.
For #10, France is finally back in the Top 50 of the best universities in the world with the Université PSL. Formed in 2011 with 200 research projects and 100 education programmes, the French university is home to more than 4,500 teachers and research. As an academic family together with the students, the PSL has developed 137 start-ups, 384 patents and 26 studies worth a Nobel Prize.
Most importantly, Asia is stepping up in the world of higher education – with China recently becoming home to the best university on the continent, Tsinghua University. Furthermore, Japan is currently the #1 most represented nation on the planet with 103 higher education institutions.
As for Europe, the number of universities from countries such as Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands increase in density in the Top 150 of the world on account of the most dominant British institutions in the front rows.