Top 10 Universities In The World [2020 Updated]


In this article, we will review the top 10 best universities in the world. Everyone wants to study at the best university. So if you think big then you can achieve big.

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star

Usually, the best university is the one that is ranked on number one in the world. In this article, we will also categorize the universities based on their ranking. We will rank the universities based on the two reputed ranking lists (Quacquarelli Symonds, Times Higher Education).

QS Ranking indicators: faculty-student, international faculty, international students, citations per faculty, academic reputation, employer reputation
TimesHigherEducation Ranking Indicators: learning environment, research, citations, international outlook, industry income.

The following best universities have been numerically ranked based on their positions in the overall, best Universities in the world 2019 rankings.
We will rank the universities based on the QS ranking list but also mention the rank of the university in TimeHigherEducation.

10. University of Chicago

Location Chicago, Illinois, United States
TimesHigherEducation Rank 10

university of Chicago
The University of Chicago (Don Burkett / Flickr)

The University of Chicago is the urban research university that was established in 1890. The remarkable work done by Chicago’s physics department is to develop the world’s first man-made, nuclear reaction that was self-sustained.

Motto    Crescat scientia; vita excolatur (Latin)

Motto in English
Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched

Similarly, there are 98 Nobel laureates, 34 faculty members and 18 alumni have been awarded the MacArthur “Genius Grant, 4 Turing Award Winners all are associated with the University of Chicago. This university holds the position in the top ten positions in the QS ranking.

Some of the notable alumni, faculty and staff of the University of Chicago are:

  • Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft)
  • Larry Ellison (Third Richest Man and CTO of Oracle)
  • MF Global (Governor of New Jersey)

According to the latest QS ranking, University of Chicago is ranked as 10th best university in the world.

9. Imperial College

Location London, UK
TimesHigherEducation Rank 9

Imperial College is a public research university located in London. It was established in 1907 by Royal Charter. The main or the old campus of Imperial College is located in South Kensington, while the new innovation campus is located in White City.
Imperial is the home of 17000 students, most of them are coming 125 countries. The main focus of the college on the four main courses of medicine, science, business and engineering.

Motto Scientia imperii decus et tutamen (Latin)
Motto in English Scientific knowledge, the crowning glory and the safeguard of the empire

The imperial College includes 14 Nobel laureates, three Fields Medalists, 74 Fellows of the Royal Society, 87 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and 85 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Besides the study stuff Imperial college also has the student union comprising of 5 members that were elected by students for the tenure of 1 Year.

Some of the notable alumni, faculty, and staff of Imperial College are:

  • Abdus Salam (Pakistani theoretical physicist)
  • Alexander Fleming (Scottish biologist, physician, microbiologist)
  • Sir William Crookes (British chemist and physicist, inventor of Vacuum tube)

According to the latest QS ranking Imperial College is ranked as 9th best university in the world.

8. University College London

Location London, United Kingdom
TimesHigherEducation Rank 14

university college London
Getty Images/iStockphoto

University College London is the public research university and it is the third-largest university in the United Kingdom with respect to its enrollment.

Motto Latin: Cuncti adsint meritaeque expectent praemia palmae
Motto in English Let all come who by merit deserve the most reward

The name of this university changes for four times but according to the latest amendment it named as University College London. This university has 33 Nobel laureates and 3 Fields medalists.

Some of the notable alumni, faculty and staff of University College London are:

  • Mahatma Gandhi (“Father of the Nation” of India)
  • Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone)
  • Francis Crick (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA)
  • University of Cambridge

7. University of Cambridge

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
TimesHigherEducation Rank 2

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second oldest university in England and the world’s fourth oldest university as it is founded in 1209.

Cambridge university educates more than 18,000 students and includes 150 departments. The press of Cambridge University is the second-largest university press in the world.

This university also has a huge financial structure that includes £1.9Billion and £515.5 million assign for research grants. This year Cambridge University and its colleges allocate the £6.4 billion for endowment funds.

Motto Latin: Hinc lucem et pocula sacra (Latin)
Motto in English From here, light and sacred draughts

Cambridge University has 117 Nobel Laureates, 11 Fields Medalists, 7 Turing Award winners and educates 15 British Prime Ministers and also the alumni of this university won 194 Olympic medals.

Some of the notable alumni of Cambridge University are:

  • Stephen Fry (comedian and actor)
  • Lord Byron (English poet)
  • Zadie Smith (Author)

According to the latest QS ranking, Cambridge university is ranked as 7th best university in the world.

6. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Location   Rämistrasse 101 CH-8092 Zürich Switzerland, Zurich
TimesHigherEducation Rank 11

ETH University
Photo: Emanuel Ammon / ETH Zurich

The ETH Zurich offers predominantly technical study courses in the fields of engineering, science, mathematics, and civil engineering however the main focus of ETH Zurich university is on Medicine, manufacturing technologies and sustainability.

This university is downgraded in the QS ranking as it is on number 6 in the ranking of 2018.

ETH Zurich has 21 Nobel Prize winners, including Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli 2 Fields Medal winners 2 Pritzker Prize winners all are affiliated with this university either as student, faculty or alumni.

 ETH Zurich concentrates on three core values that include Education, Research and Knowledge and technology transfer. There are 21 Nobel prizes that are awarded to the researchers however the first award was awarded in 1901

Some of the notable alumni of ETH Zurich University are:

Kurt Wüthrich (awarded Nobel prize in 2002 in chemistry)
Richard Ernst (awarded Nobel prize in 1991 in chemistry)
Werner Arber (awarded Nobel prize in 1978 in medicine)

According to the latest QS ranking, ETH Zurich university is ranked as 6th best university in the world.

5. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Location  Pasadena, California, United States
TimesHigherEducation Rank 5

CALTECH University
Wolterk/Getty Images 

California Institute of Technology short as Caltech is also the private research university located in Pasadena, California. It was established in 1891 as a vocational school but later on in 1920. It was named as California Institute of Technology

Caltech has 38 Nobel Laureates, 58 National Medal of Science Recipients, 13 National Medal of Technology and Innovation Recipients and 128 National Academies Members. Chemist Linus Pauling is the only individual in history who win two unshared Novel prizes that are very remarkable for this university.

Caltech is known for its natural science and engineering. At Caltech students received more than 52% of need-based assistance that has the Average need-based financial-aid package of $49,951.

Caltech’s Motto: The truth shall make you free.

Some of the notable alumni of Caltech University are:

  • Nobel laureate Carl David Anderson (For the discoverer of the positron and the muon)
  • Harrison Schmitt (the only geologist to have walked on the moon)
  • Gordon Moore (co-founder of Intel)

According to the latest QS ranking, Caltech university is ranked as 5th best university in the world.

4. University of Oxford

Location  Oxford, England, United Kingdom
TimesHigherEducation Rank 1


The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in England. It is the oldest university in England and the world second oldest university because there is the evidence of teaching in 1096 so this is the reason Oxford has no known foundation date. The oldest university is the University of Bologna located in Italy.

Oxford’s MotoDominus illuminatio mea (Latin)
In English “The Lord is my light”

Oxford offers more than 350 courses and has the student strength of 24,000 including the 43% of international students. Oxford provides more than 30,000 jobs and injecting more than £2.3B in the economic cycle of the country.

Oxford educates more than 28 prime ministers of UK and has 69 Nobel Prize laureates, 3 Fields Medalists and 6 Turing Award, winners

Some of the notable alumni of Oxford University are:

  • William Gladstone (serve as the prime minister of UK)
  • Aung San Suu Kyi (Nobel peace prize laureate)
  • Bill Clinton (42nd President of United States)

According to the latest QS ranking, Oxford university is ranked as 4th best university in the world

3. Harvard University

Location Cambridge, Massachusetts
TimesHigherEducation Rank 6

Harvard university
Photo: Shutterstock

Harvard is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is the oldest universities in the United States that was built in 1636. Harvard University was named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard.

Harvard University also has a financial aid program for the needy students with over $160 million awarded to more than 60% of our undergraduate students.This university received 48 Nobel Prizes, 32 heads of state, 48 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Harvard Moto Veritas (Latin for “truth”)

Harvard University has the largest library in the world that includes 20.4 million volumes with 180,000 serial titles. The strange thing about Harvard is also the rich collection but also has more than 800 staff members that operate more than 70 library units.

This university also provides the calculator to the students to estimate how much your family needs to contribute to Harvard each year. The cost of attending Harvard without financial aid is $67,580 that includes the tuition fee, room expenditures, board, and fees combined.

Some of the notable alumni of Harvard University are:

  • Mark Zuckerberg (Co-Founder of Facebook)
  • Benazir Bhutto (11th Prime Minister of Pakistan)
  • Bill Gates (Founder of Microsoft)

According to the latest QS ranking, Harvard University is ranked as 3rd best university in the world.

2. Stanford University

Location  Stanford, California, United States
TimesHigherEducation Rank 3

The main quadrangle of Stanford University. (Wikimedia Commons via JTA)

Stanford University is the wealthiest private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is well known for its academic wealth, strength, selectivity and relationship with Silicon Valley

 The biography of this university is very astonishing because this university was established by by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr. in 1885.

The most prestigious thing about this university is its fundraising activities.  The university is one of the top fundraising institutions in the United States and it becomes the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.

This university received 83 Nobel prizes, 27 Turing Awards, and 8 Field Medals. All are affiliated with Stanford University.

Stanford’s Moto The wind of freedom blows

One of the most reputable thing that Stanford’s alumni did is, they founded a large number of companies in the country and outside the country which produces more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue and also act as a mean for employment in the country.

They also did many social works like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Awards Medical School $50 million over 10 years for vaccine development and then the Stanford established the Immunology center to develop the vaccine for the disease.

Some of the notable alumni of Stanford University are:

  • Herbert Hoover (31st president of the United States)
  • John F. Kennedy (35th president of the United States.)
  • Mitt Romney (Romney is in the running to become President of the United States in 2012)

As per new QS ranking, Stanford University is ranked as 2nd best university in the world

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Location   Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
TimesHigherEducation Rank 4

MIT University
Photo “MIT” by Flickr user Bobbie Johnson (Bobbie)

MIT is considered in the most prestigious universities in the world. MIT is the private research university and extends more than one and half-mile along the Charles River.

 This university is established in 1861 and till now the members of MIT has achieved more 90 Nobel Prizes, 59 National Medal of Science winners, 29 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners and 15 A. M. Turing Award winners that are a very remarkable achievement for MIT.

MIT’s motto is “mens et manus,” or “mind and hand,”
Signifying the worth of academic knowledge with a practical purpose.

This university plays a vital role in educating the students in modern science, engineering, mathematics and technology and also has remarkable achievements in the research field.

Some of the notable alumni of MIT University are:

  • Virgilio Barco Vargas (President of Colombia)
  • Benjamin Netanyahu, (Israeli Prime Minister)
  • Buzz Aldrin (Apollo Lunar Module pilot on the Apollo 11 mission)

As per the new ranking, MIT university is ranked on the Number 1 university in the world

Of course, these universities are ranked according to the criteria but if you want to get admission in any university then there are a number of things that need to be considered like its location, tuition fee, scholarships and many more.

So we provide you the idea of the top 10 universities in the world that are listed by the QS and the TimeHigherEducation.

Rank of University Name of University
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2 Stanford University
3 Harvard University
4 University of Oxford
5 California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
6 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
7 University of Cambridge
8 University College London
9 Imperial College
10 University of Chicago



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here