Society European university ranking 2013/14

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University rankings are conducted by various magazines, newspapers, websites, governments and academics. The three most famous are the Academic Ranking of World Universities (aka ARWU or Shanghai Ranking), the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings.

American universities have long dominated the global rankings. In Europe, the best universities are almost all British. Only Switzerland, Germany, France, Denmark and Sweden managed to get one or two universities in the top 50.

Here is a comparative table of the all European universities that appear in the global top 100 in at least one of the three rankings.

RankUniversitiesCountryARWUTimesQS WURTotal Score
1University of CambridgeUK57315
2University of OxfordUK102618
3Imperial College LondonUK2410539
4ETH ZürichSwitzerland20141246
5University College London (UCL)UK2121446
6University of EdinburghUK513917107
7Karolinska InstituteSweden4436-(120)
8King's College LondonUK673819124
9University of ManchesterUK415833132
10École Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneSwitzerland101+3719157
11École Normale SupérieureFrance716528164
12University of HeidelbergGermany546850172
13University of BristolUK647930173
14Ludwig Maximilian University of MunichGermany615565181
15Technical University MunichGermany508753190
16London School of EconomicsUK101+3268201
17Utrecht UniversityNetherlands527481207
18Leiden UniversityNetherlands746774215
19University of CopenhagenDenmark4215045237
20KU LeuvenBelgium101+6177239
21University of AmsterdamNetherlands101+8358242
22University of Paris 6France3796112245
22University of HelsinkiFinland7610069245
24University of ZurichSwitzerland6012178259
25Uppsala UniversitySweden7311179263
26University of GenevaSwitzerland6912471264
27University of BaselSwitzerland8374110267
28University of SheffieldUK101+11271284
29University of GroningenNetherlands929897287
30Lund UniversitySweden101+12367291
31George August University of GöttingenGermany101+63128292
31Ghent UniversityBelgium8585122292
33Freie Universität BerlinGermany-86109(293)
34Aarhus UniversityDenmark8113891310
35École PolytechniqueFrance201+7041312
36Erasmus University RotterdamNetherlands151+7392316
36University of NottinghamUK8415775316
36University of BirminghamUK101+15362316
39University of GlasgowUK151+11751319
40Wageningen UniversityNetherlands101+77150328
41Humboldt University of BerlinGermany-94126(330)
42University of Paris-Sud (11)France39114189342
43University of OsloNorway7018589344
44University of FreiburgGermany100152102354
45Stockholm UniversitySweden82103170355
45University of WarwickUK150+14164355
47Delft University of TechnologyNetherlands201+6995365
48Durham UniversityUK201+8090371
49University of SouthamptonUK151+14686383
50University of LeedsUK151+13997387
51Trinity College DublinIreland201+12961391
52University of St AndrewsUK201+11783401
53Maastricht UniversityNetherlands201+98121420
54Moscow State UniversityRussia79232120431
55University of StrasbourgFrance97217226540




Number of universities listed in each World Top 100 ranking by country


  1. United Kingdom : 37
  2. Netherlands : 17
  3. Germany : 13
  4. Switzerland : 11
  5. France : 9
  6. Sweden : 6
  7. Belgium/Denmark : 4
  8. Finland : 2
  9. Ireland/Russia : 1

Note that not a single Austrian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek or Eastern European (except Russia) university made it to any of the Top 100.
 
Surprised to not see the Uni. of St. Gallen (Switzerland) in that list; Back in the days they had a very good rep. for economics;
 
in continental Europe this seems to mark the line between the Germanic/Scandinavian world and the Mediterranean world, alltough from an economical/political point of view France seems to belong to the mediterranean area nowadays
 
in continental Europe this seems to mark the line between the Germanic/Scandinavian world and the Mediterranean world, alltough from an economical/political point of view France seems to belong to the mediterranean area nowadays

I agree that Germanic countries have much better universities than the rest of Europe. Within the Germanic world it is especially West Germanic countries, those with a high percentage of haplogroup R1b-S21 (U106), that score well in the the university rankings.

It's interesting that the UK and the Netherlands, which overwhelmingly dominate the Top 100, especially when adjusted for population size, also happen to be the two most individualistic countries in Europe.
 
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It's interesting that the UK and the Netherlands, which overwhelmingly dominate the Top 100, especially when adjusted for population size, also happen to be the two most individualistic countries in Europe.

In terms of genetic the strongest correlation I can think of with the university ranking is the percentage of haplogroup R1b-S21 (U106). It's true that Germanic countries have much better universities than Latin/Celtic, Slavic or other ethnico-linguistic groups in Europe. But within the Germanic world, the R1b-S21-dominant countries also perform better than I1-dominant countries of Scandinavia.

I think it correlates more with good economy of these countries. I think we can see similar correlation in America and Asia with best universities in rich countries. More money equals better teachers, better equipment, better facilities in general. I'll go here on a whim and guess that during Renaissance best universities were in Italy and Spain.

The remaining question would be, why germanic countries are so successful in capitalistic market ways of last 200-300 years? Is it individualism, collectivism, order, efficiency, smart people, etc? Sort of base germanic character combined with matching production system?
 
in continental Europe this seems to mark the line between the Germanic/Scandinavian world and the Mediterranean world, alltough from an economical/political point of view France seems to belong to the mediterranean area nowadays


What I see is a dominance by Great Britain, and then to a much lesser extent, an appearance by some Dutch and German universities.

To get a complete picture, it helps to take a look at the global rankings. If you're comparing universities globally, it's a wipe out for the U.S.. Only ten universities in Europe appear in the top 50, and of those, 7 are British Isles, with ETH Zurich (15), the Karolinska Institute Sweden (36), and Ecole Polytechnique Lausanne (37) rounding it out. Hardly a stellar performance by the other European countries.

Thirty of the top 50 are from the U.S. The vast majority of the European universities mentioned in the European list as "the best" are ranked competitively with what I consider very second tier American schools. It surprises me actually. Another reminder that for us, anyway, my parents made the right decision.

I do think that MIT got robbed...it should be higher up the list, as should Columbia. :)

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2013-14/world-ranking
 
What I see is a dominance by Great Britain, and then to a much lesser extent, an appearance by some Dutch and German universities.

To get a complete picture, it helps to take a look at the global rankings. If you're comparing universities globally, it's a wipe out for the U.S.. Only ten universities in Europe appear in the top 50, and of those, 7 are British Isles, with ETH Zurich (15), the Karolinska Institute Sweden (36), and Ecole Polytechnique Lausanne (37) rounding it out. Hardly a stellar performance by the other European countries.

Thirty of the top 50 are from the U.S. The vast majority of the European universities mentioned in the European list as "the best" are ranked competitively with what I consider very second tier American schools. It surprises me actually. Another reminder that for us, anyway, my parents made the right decision.

I do think that MIT got robbed...it should be higher up the list, as should Columbia. :)

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2013-14/world-ranking

The money in the U.S. is HUGE. The best European students will go there to study. I myself had several offers from European and Canadian Universities, but the offer from the US could not be beaten. Simply the US know very well how to attract the best of the best. Eventually these people, with their innovations will continue to increase the power and dominance of America.

Another thing has to to with incentives. The market in Europe is totally different. Some people even say that the Western like countries of Europe prospered mostly due to the Protestant/Calvinist doctrine. Put it simple, the very first universities were established in Italy and Spain, yet none of them appears in the list. Sad, but true.
 
I'm always surprised at how poorly the University of Paris schools associated with the Sorbonne building (mainly Paris I and Paris IV, and to a lesser degree Paris III and Paris V) perform in these. I would think that many would guess the most prestigious French university to be "the Sorbonne," not ENS or Paris VI. Instead we get:
Paris I: unranked, unranked, 225
Paris IV: unranked, unranked, 216
 
The money in the U.S. is HUGE. The best European students will go there to study. I myself had several offers from European and Canadian Universities, but the offer from the US could not be beaten. Simply the US know very well how to attract the best of the best. Eventually these people, with their innovations will continue to increase the power and dominance of America.
Exactly. The people who constantly predict imploding of US economy and culture are just wishful romantic dreamers who hate US for some reason. US attracts too much talent and money from around the globe not to be strong and competitive for a very long time.
 
Exactly. The people who constantly predict imploding of US economy and culture are just wishful romantic dreamers who hate US for some reason. US attracts too much talent and money from around the globe not to be strong and competitive for a very long time.

I'm actually of two minds about all this bringing of foreign students into the U.S. to study, to a place like MIT, for example. On the one hand, it brings talented people there from all over the world, and some of them stay and work here, and even if they don't, they might contribute to important research while they are at the universities.

On the other hand, I get very tired of American sponsored and created innovations getting ripped off and copied in parts of the world where, for whatever reason, they seem incapable of really innovative, creative work of their own.
 
On the other hand, I get very tired of American sponsored and created innovations getting ripped off and copied in parts of the world where, for whatever reason, they seem incapable of really innovative, creative work of their own.
Yes it doesn't seam fair to inventors and investors, as they surely benefit less than they should or often at all. However the big picture might not be as grim as it might seam. These stolen technologies will help poorer countries to develop faster and at the end they will have money to spend buying US products and investing back in US (because of great US economy). In short, the faster whole world develops the better for US, even if only in economic sense and not strong political dominance of 20th century.
But still, stealing technologies or anything shouldn't happen in first place.
 
I'm actually of two minds about all this bringing of foreign students into the U.S. to study, to a place like MIT, for example. On the one hand, it brings talented people there from all over the world, and some of them stay and work here, and even if they don't, they might contribute to important research while they are at the universities.

On the other hand, I get very tired of American sponsored and created innovations getting ripped off and copied in parts of the world where, for whatever reason, they seem incapable of really innovative, creative work of their own.

I like the use of the word "foreign", like the Americans are really natives in the place that they live. Take for example yourself, who may believe that you are an American (may be true in papers), but you may be only a second generation migrant, so far away from the fathers who created the U.S.

As far as the students are concerned. Of course they should help their countries when they will go back. After all education is for that reason, to make our lives better and help our people. Eventually I hope for convergence, and not divergence.

P.S. Why do you specifically mention MIT and probably other IVY leagues? If they deserve to go there what is the problem? Or you simply want the prerogatives to stay in the U.S.A so that the dominance will continue? Well, eventually this is not going to happen, especially nowadays where information is global. And apart from that, have you ever considered how many international students are doing PhDs compared to the Americans? Just a reminder ...
 
So there seem to be two major factors at play, the protestant love of hard work and learning, and the availability of lots of money to pay for the development of top quality educational facilities. The British university system developed during Britain's imperial period, when it was the richest country in the world, and momentum has kept the British university system on top and allowed it to expand even after Britain's empire withered away. But will the British university system eventually decline as the British economy continues to falter? And will the momentum in the U.S. gradually shift, with universities in the eastern U.S. declining in importance and more west coast American universities becoming top tier? Time will tell.
 
I think it correlates more with good economy of these countries. I think we can see similar correlation in America and Asia with best universities in rich countries. More money equals better teachers, better equipment, better facilities in general. I'll go here on a whim and guess that during Renaissance best universities were in Italy and Spain.

The remaining question would be, why germanic countries are so successful in capitalistic market ways of last 200-300 years? Is it individualism, collectivism, order, efficiency, smart people, etc? Sort of base germanic character combined with matching production system?

I don't think that good university rankings necessarily correlate with high GDP per capita or healthy economies. If that was the case then Nordic countries; Ireland and Austria would all rank higher. In Germany, Hamburg is the richest city (and Land), but none of its universities made it to the top 100.
 
I'm always surprised at how poorly the University of Paris schools associated with the Sorbonne building (mainly Paris I and Paris IV, and to a lesser degree Paris III and Paris V) perform in these. I would think that many would guess the most prestigious French university to be "the Sorbonne," not ENS or Paris VI. Instead we get:
Paris I: unranked, unranked, 225
Paris IV: unranked, unranked, 216

France, like all Romance-speaking countries, has serious problems with its education system. Even in Belgium, where the funding and management of education is separate for French and Dutch speakers, French-speaking universities perform miserably.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the only French university outside Paris listed above is Strasbourg University, which is historically and culturally more German than French. It even performs better than the Sorbonne.
 
I'm actually of two minds about all this bringing of foreign students into the U.S. to study, to a place like MIT, for example. On the one hand, it brings talented people there from all over the world, and some of them stay and work here, and even if they don't, they might contribute to important research while they are at the universities.

On the other hand, I get very tired of American sponsored and created innovations getting ripped off and copied in parts of the world where, for whatever reason, they seem incapable of really innovative, creative work of their own.

Yes, the US attracts talented people, but I don't think that is the main reason there are so many inventions are made in the US.

There is simply no other country in the world that rewards inventors that much.
 
I agree that Germanic countries have much better universities than the rest of Europe. Within the Germanic world it is especially West Germanic countries, those with a high percentage of haplogroup R1b-S21 (U106), that score well in the the university rankings.

It's interesting that the UK and the Netherlands, which overwhelmingly dominate the Top 100, especially when adjusted for population size, also happen to be the two most individualistic countries in Europe.

Maciamo what does haplogroup have got to do with it? Did you ever check the haplogroups of people lecturing in these universities? You might be surprised what a mix of Nationalities give their services mainly driven by the best salaries and not haplogroups!
 
Maciamo what does haplogroup have got to do with it? Did you ever check the haplogroups of people lecturing in these universities? You might be surprised what a mix of Nationalities give their services mainly driven by the best salaries and not haplogroups!

You really don't understand. I am just saying that the countries that have the best university ranking also happen to be the ones with high percentages of R1b-S21 (i.e. West Germanic as opposed to North Germanic). It was in reply to bicicleur who noticed that almost all European universities listed in the top 100 were from Germanic countries.

However, the link with individualism surely has something to do with the way universities are managed. The USA and Australia are also extremely individualistic societies and also have efficiently run universities. It could be just something to do with English-speaking cultures, but the case of the Netherlands (+ Belgium, West Germany and Switzerland) disproves this.

One of the problems of Romance language countries with universities is that they manage them as if they were social institutions. They want to provide higher education to as many people as possible, and therefore have extremely low registration fees, usually no entrance exam (there are exceptions in some fields like medicine), and allow huge auditorium of 500+ students for one professor, which lowers the quality of the lectures and destroys all interactivity between professor and student. That's a sharp contrast to universities like Oxford and Cambridge, where each student as a designated mentor, and were classes are held in small groups, in which students can ask questions and discuss with their professors.

In conclusion, individualistic countries could be seen as more elitist as they place more exigent restrictions and higher fees on university enrolment, and run universities like business rather than public charities. However they also provide better infrastructure and a higher quality of education, which explains the discrepancy in rating between individualistic (= West Germanic) countries and more collectivist or social-minded countries.

I have explained before that individualistic people are:

- motivated by self-improvement (their own ego) rather than by the approval or respect from others (family, friends).
- more open to outsiders (because they do not identify strongly with one particular group of people)

These are traits that strongly define the Anglo-American university system. That is one of the main reason why British and American universities are so cosmopolitan and can therefore attract the brightest (and richest) students from all over the world. This is not the case in more collectivist countries like Japan, Korea and China, where foreign students are much rarer despite the quality of some of their universities.

I have lived in Japan for five years and I know for a fact that Japanese people choose their university based on prestige only. They often don't care much what subject they will study as long as they can enter Tokyo University, or if they can't Waseda or Keio. Japanese companies also don't care what they new recruits studied, as long as they graduated from a prestigious institution. Their way of thinking is that only the best learners can enrol and graduate from the top universities, so that is itself a sign of talent. Big Japanese companies teach new recruits everything they need to know, so their major rarely matters (except for specialised positions like lawyer or accountant). That's a huge difference from the individualistic Anglo-American system, where personal achievements matter above everything else.

In southern Europe, France and Francophone Belgium, university is seen as a social right, just like unemployment benefits or public health insurance. It's not about proving one's capabilities but just fitting into the system and usually build social connections that will serve during one's career. It's a system that is neither individualistic nor truly collectivist in the Asian sense of the term, but rather "socialist" or "communitarian". Unfortunately that's also the least efficient of the three systems in today's world (both for academic proficiency and employment opportunities).
 
I don't think that good university rankings necessarily correlate with high GDP per capita or healthy economies. If that was the case then Nordic countries; Ireland and Austria would all rank higher. In Germany, Hamburg is the richest city (and Land), but none of its universities made it to the top 100.

The Nordic countries, Ireland and Austria all have relatively small populations, so even though they all have relatively high GDP per capita, that doesn't mean that they have the kinds of large pools of capital necessary to pay for the creation and maintenance of elite educational institutions. And the Nordic countries were poor until the 20th century and Ireland was quite poor until a few decades ago. However, Austria was the head of a large empire until about 100 years ago, so if it never was a world leader in terms of elite universities, we'd have to look at some other factor, such as the catholic versus protestant issue meaning less individualism and perhaps less admiration for learning.
 
Italy got a lot of scientists and are Romance speakers.
Sweden compared to Norway got a lot more scientists.
I do not think is relevant to what group of people your ethnicity belongs,in how good a University is .
For example,Russians and Ukrainians are almost same people,but education is a lot more developed in Russia,compared to Ukraine.
As for your note that Eastern Europe Universities are not in the top ,that is really not important for me,because this is only a measurement done by some people way of seeing things.
A more fair measurement of how good education+how people in a country are is the number of medals at international Olimpics,where things are quite different.
Here for example the results of International Mathematical Olympiad:
https://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx
 

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