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Top 10 Best Universities in the World – 2021/22

US News & World Report has published its 2022 Best Global Universities rankings, which includes a list of the top 13 tertiary learning institutions in South Africa – six of which are ranked among the top 500 in the world.

The overall ranking encompasses 1,750 top institutions, up from nearly 1,500 last year, and spread across more than 90 countries, up from 86 last year.

The rankings put a particular focus on the research output of universities, as well as the reputations tied to that research, both locally and globally.

This includes bibliometric indicators such as publications, citations, and international collaboration. Each subject ranking has its own methodology based on academic research performance and reputation in that specific area.

The top 10 schools in the overall Best Global Universities ranking are similar to last year’s edition, with Harvard University in Massachusetts again topping the list, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University in California.

The only change in the global top 10 was the California Institute of Technology dropping to the ninth position, pushing the University of Washington and University of Cambridge up one spot each.

The most ranked schools are in the following countries:

  • US: 271
  • China: 253
  • Japan: 93
  • UK: 89
  • Germany: 70

Top 10 Universities in the world:

# Country University
1 United States Harvard University
2 United States Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3 United States Stanford University
4 United States University of California—Berkeley
5 United Kingdom University of Oxford
6 United States Columbia University
7 United States University of Washington
8 United Kingdom University of Cambridge
9 United States California Institute of Technology
10 United States Johns Hopkins University

13 indicators the group looks at (and their weightings)

  • Global research reputation – 12.5%
  • Regional research reputation – 12.5%
  • Number of publications that are among the 10% most cited – 12.5%
  • Percentage of total publications that are among the 10% most cited – 10%
  • Publications – 10%
  • Normalised citation impact – 10%
  • Total citations – 7.5%
  • International collaboration – 5%
  • Percentage of total publications with international collaboration – 5%
  • Number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited in their respective field – 5%
  • Percentage of total publications that are among the top 1% most highly cited papers – 5%
  • Books – 2.5%
  • Conferences – 2.5%

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