The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) released their annual ranking lists on Aug. 15, 2015 with Harvard University again topping the best 500 universities in the world for the 13th year. The ARWU is one of only two major rankings that are not published by a western country either in the United States or the United Kingdom. ARWU is compiled by Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University in China.
For the 13th straight year, Harvard University topped the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)’s list. The top 10 is virtually unchanged from last year’s rankings, and consists of eight American universities and two British institutions. Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology follow Harvard to claim again the second and third places on the list. The world ranking also includes national ranks for each universities represented on the list.
The top ranking university on continental Europe is ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) at 20 down one from last year. The list includes a rising number of Asian universities, with The University of Tokyo the top Asian university on the list coming in again at 21. Australia’s University of Melbourne is the top university in the Oceania region. The top university in Israel continues to be Hebrew University at No. 67, Israel has a second university making the top 100, the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) at No. 77.
The top Canadian university is University of Toronto at No. 25 down one from last year, while McGill came in third in Canada moving up from 67 to 64. The University of British Columbia dropped down from No. 37 to No. 40.
The United States dominates the rankings as it does with all the international lists, with 51 universities in the top 100 alone. The United Kingdom has nine universities in the top 100. Although most of the universities in the ranking are from the US and Europe, Asian universities are seeing their numbers rise; China has 32 universities in the top 500, Japan has 18.
There are 11 universities making the list for the first time ARWU highlighted new additions, “Queensland University of Technology in Australia and Sharif University of Technology in Iran.” The UK’s University of Warwick also entered the top 100 for the first time at No. 92.
The Washington Post praises the ranking, writing, “Starting from 2003, ARWU has been presenting the world Top 500 universities annually based on a set of objective indicators and third-party data. ARWU has been recognized as the precursor of global university rankings and the most trustworthy league table.”
The main lists compromises of three different separate rankings; World Top 500 Universities; World Top 200 Universities in Broad Subject Fields, and World Top 200 Universities by Subject Fields. The universities topping the broad subject fields ranking remain the same as last year’s edition. The University of California Berkeley tops Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and MIT is the top in Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences. Harvard tops the Life and Agriculture Sciences, Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy, and the Social Sciences.
The top universities also remain the same for specific subject fields. Princeton tops Mathematics, while Berkley tops the lists for Physics and Chemistry. Stanford remains No. 1 in Computer Science, and Harvard is the best university for Economics/Business. Shanghai Ranking Consultancy has been publishing the list since 2003.
Academic Ranking of World Universities ARWU’s top 10 world universities:
- 1 Harvard University
- 2 Stanford University
- 3 MIT
- 4 University of California Berkeley
- 5 University of Cambridge
- 6 Princeton University
- 7 California Institute of Technology Caltech
- 8 Columbia University
- 9 University of Chicago
- 10 University of Oxford