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Times Higher Education: 2013 World Reputation Rankings

Times Higher Education Publishes 2013 World Reputation Rankings

Australia is the success story of the 2013 rankings, with existing representatives improving their position joined by two new top 100 entrants
Harvard University again heads an elite top six of Anglo-American “super-brands” that has pulled further away from the chasing pack
East Asian institutions make strong progress in the global index of academic prestige
No New Zealand institutions make the world top 100 list
Top 100 representation for Brazil, Russia and China, but nothing for the remaining BRIC nation, India

Australia has emerged as one of the strongest performers in the 2013 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.

The annual list, a subsidiary of the prestigious THE World University Rankings, are based on the largest worldwide invitation-only survey of senior academic opinion. They provide the only global index based purely on the power of university brands.

Reputation both reflects and drives university success, attracting staff, students, business investment, research partners and benefactions in a highly competitive global market.

This year’s rankings have again provided strong evidence of an elite group of six US and UK global “super-brands” that stands head and shoulders above the rest. The group is headed by Harvard University, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.

Although Oxford has swapped places with Stanford this year, the top six’s membership has remained consistent since the World Reputation Rankings’ first edition in 2011, with the gap between it and the chasing pack widening each year.

In the opinion of those who recognise quality in university teaching and research better than anyone – academics themselves – the US continues to dominate, with 43 universities in the world top 100 list. However, this dominance is slowly waning: it had 45 representatives in the top 100 in 2011 and 44 last year.

Outside the US, the UK has the most top 100 representatives (nine), but its overall showing has declined from 12 in 2011.

In terms of representation in the top 100, the US and the UK are followed by Australia, which has moved ahead of Japan and the Netherlands and now has six representatives (up from four last year). Monash University (91-100 band) and the University of New South Wales (81-90 band) enter the top 100 for the first time, while Australia’s existing representatives, led by the University of Melbourne (up from 43rd to 39th), improve their standings.

Japan, the Netherlands and Germany each have five top 100 institutions, with Germany gaining a new entrant in 2013 (Freie Universität Berlin, which has entered the 91-100 band).

In total, 20 countries are represented.

Japan still carries the torch for Asia with five top 100 institutions, but it has lost some of its lustre. Its top 10 player, the University of Tokyo, has slipped one place to ninth, while Kyoto University has fallen out of the top 20. Osaka University remains in the 51-60 group, but both Tohoku University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have fallen from that band to the 61-70 cluster.

As Japan’s prestige falls, that of its East Asian rivals rises.

The National University of Singapore climbs one place to 22nd (it was 27th in 2011) while the Republic of Korea’s Seoul National University has improved its standing (entering the top 50 this year), as has the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (up from 81-90 to 61-70).

Mainland China strikes the only disappointing note amid the East Asian celebrations: its two flagship universities have slipped slightly (Tsinghua University from 30th to 35th and Peking University from 38th to 45th), but they remain top 50 players

The World Reputation Rankings are part of the portfolio of university ranking systems that have established Times Higher Education as the most respected and cited provider of comparative university performance data in the world. The reputation rankings are based on a global invitation-only opinion poll carried out by Ipsos MediaCT for Times Higher Education’s rankings data supplier, Thomson Reuters. The poll has attracted 48,000 responses from more than 150 countries in three years. The 2013 results are based on 16,639 responses from senior published academics.

Research by international student recruitment agency IDP has shown that a university’s “reputation/ranking” is the single most important consideration for students choosing study destinations, above fees and even course content (

A separate study by the World 100 Reputation Network has found that institutional reputation is the number one factor for international academic staff changing jobs (

Key facts
• There are 20 countries represented in the world top 100 reputation list.
• Five are represented in the top 20: the US, the UK, Japan, Canada and Switzerland.
• The highest-ranking university outside the UK and the US is Japan’s University of Tokyo (ninth, down one place).
• Brazil is represented by the University of São Paulo, which holds its position in the 61-70 band.
• Israel and Turkey, with one institution each, represent the Middle East. Israel has lost one of its top 100 representatives (Tel Aviv University).
• Switzerland has lost one of its three top 100 institutions (the University of Zürich), but its highest-placed representative, ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, has entered the top 20.
• India does not have a single university in the top 100.
• France has four representatives, led by the Université Paris-Sorbonne, although none make the top 50.
• There are six countries (compared with four last year) with one representative in the top 100: Brazil, Taiwan, Belgium, Israel, Russia and Turkey.
• The Republic of Ireland is not represented.

Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education rankings, said:

“A university’s reputation is subjective, but it matters deeply in today’s highly competitive global marketplace, and it has serious real-world impact – helping to attract top student and academic talent, and encouraging industrial investment and benefactions.

“It is clear that no university, no matter how prestigious, can afford to be complacent in this fast-moving, information-rich global age. New forces in higher education are emerging, especially in the Asia-Pacific countries that are investing heavily in building world-class universities, so the traditional elite must be very careful. In the three years that the World Reputation Rankings have been running, we have clear evidence that the US and the UK in particular are losing ground.”

“Australia is a country very much on the way up in terms of worldwide academic prestige. On the back of significant gains in 2012, it has had another great year in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings. The country has gained two new top 100 representatives – Monash University and the University of New South Wales – taking its total to six. This means it has jumped into third place behind the US and the UK in the list of the best-represented countries in the 2013 World Reputation Rankings. Australia can also boast a top 40 university: its best-ranked institution, the University of Melbourne, has moved up to 39th.

“In many ways these results show that Australia’s image among scholars around the world is catching up with the reality: until now it has tended to perform less well in the reputation rankings compared with the overall, objective World University Rankings, which come out every autumn. These results show how well poised Australia is to make the most of its geographical advantages: while it has strong links with the best universities in the West, it has also made the most of East Asia’s booming higher education scene. If it continues to exploit these opportunities, Australia could be a serious beneficiary of the Asian century, which is great news for its economy and competitiveness.”

Speaking to the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings supplement, Monash University president Ed Byrne, said: “Australia is ideally situated between the rising academic powerhouses of Asia and the established centres in the old West… I anticipate a bright future.”

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2013

2013 Rank2012 RankInstitutionCountry
11Harvard University US
22Massachusetts Institute of Technology US
33University of Cambridge UK
46University of Oxford UK
55University of California, Berkeley US
64Stanford University US
77Princeton University US
89University of California, Los Angeles US
98University of Tokyo Japan
1010Yale University US
1111California Institute of Technology US
1212University of Michigan US
1315Columbia University US
=1414University of Chicago US
=1413Imperial College London UK
16=16University of Toronto Canada
17=16Cornell University US
1819University of Pennsylvania US
1918Johns Hopkins University US
=2021University College London UK
=2022ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich Switzerland
22=23National University of Singapore Singapore
2320Kyoto University Japan
24=23University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign US
2529London School of Economics and Political Science UK
2637Carnegie Mellon University US
=2732University of Texas at Austin US
=2728University of Washington US
2934New York University US
3027University of Wisconsin-Madison US
=31=25University of British Columbia Canada
=3133Duke University US
=31=25McGill University Canada
3436University of California, San Diego US
3530Tsinghua University China
36=39University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
3735Northwestern University US
3841Georgia Institute of Technology US
3943University of Melbourne Australia
4031University of California, San FranciscoUS
4151-60Seoul National University Republic of Korea
=42=44Australian National University Australia
=42=39University of Massachusetts US
4442Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Germany
4538Peking University China
4649University of Edinburgh UK
4751-60University of Manchester UK
48=44University of California, Davis US
4950University of Sydney Australia
=50-Lomonosov Moscow State University Russian Federation
=50=47Purdue University US
51-6051-60Delft University of Technology Netherlands
51-6061-70École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland
51-6091-100Middle East Technical University Turkey
51-60=47University of Minnesota US
51-6046University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill US
51-6051-60Ohio State University US
51-6051-60Osaka University Japan
51-6051-60Pennsylvania State University US
51-6051-60University of California, Santa Barbara US
51-6061-70National Taiwan University Taiwan
61-7061-70Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
61-7051-60Karolinska Institute Sweden
61-7061-70King’s College London UK
61-7081-90Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology Republic of Korea
61-7081-90Leiden University Netherlands
61-7061-70University of São Paulo Brazil
61-7061-70University of Southern California US
61-7061-70Technische Universität München Germany
61-7051-60Tohoku University Japan
61-7051-60Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan
71-8061-70Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel
71-8061-70Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Germany
71-8081-90Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Belgium
71-8071-80Michigan State University US
71-8081-90Nanyang Technological University Singapore
71-8071-80Université Paris-SorbonneFrance
71-8061-70University of Pittsburgh US
71-8071-80University of QueenslandAustralia
71-8071-80Universität Heidelberg Germany
81-9071-80University of Amsterdam Netherlands
81-9091-100Boston University US
81-9081-90Brown University US
81-9081-90Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
81-9091-100École Polytechnique France
81-9081-90University of Florida US
81-90-University of New South Wales Australia
81-9091-100Université Pierre et Marie Curie France
81-9091-100Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey US
81-9071-80Utrecht University Netherlands
81-9071-80Washington University in St Louis US
91-10091-100University of Bristol UK
91-100-Freie Universität Berlin Germany
91-10081-90Lund University Sweden
91-100-University of Maryland, College Park US
91-100-Monash University Australia
91-10091-100Université Paris-SudFrance
91-10071-80Texas A&M University US
91-10071-80Uppsala University Sweden
91-10091-100Wageningen University and Research Center Netherlands

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2013

State of the nations: representatives of each country in the top 100
(Copyright Times Higher Education 2013. Link to

Country Number of top 100 institutionsTop institutionTop institution rank
US43Harvard University 1
UK9University of Cambridge 3
Australia6University of Melbourne 39
Germany5Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München 44
Japan5University of Tokyo 9
Netherlands5Delft University of Technology 51-60
France 4Université Paris-Sorbonne71-80
Canada3University of Toronto 16
Hong Kong3University of Hong Kong 36
Sweden3Karolinska Institute 61-70
Switzerland2ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich =20
Republic of Korea2Seoul National University 41
Singapore2National University of Singapore 22
China2Tsinghua University 35
Israel1Hebrew University of Jerusalem 71-80
Russian Federation1Lomonosov Moscow State University =50
Turkey1Middle East Technical University 51-60
Taiwan1National Taiwan University 51-60
Belgium1Katholieke Universiteit Leuven 71-80
Brazil1University of São Paulo 61-70

Methodology key facts

• The World Reputation Rankings are based on the results of the Academic Reputation Survey carried out by Ipsos MediaCT for Thomson Reuters, data supplier to the Times Higher Education rankings. The 2013 World Reputation Rankings are based on 16,639 responses from 144 countries to the survey distributed in April-May 2012.

• The survey is available in nine languages and is distributed based on United Nations data to ensure it accurately reflects the global distribution of scholars. Times Higher Education does not allow volunteers to take part in the survey and accepts no nominations from institutions or any third party.

• The poll asks academics to nominate no more than 15 of the best institutions in their narrow field of expertise, based on their experience and knowledge, making it a rigorous global measure of academic prestige.

• For the 2013 table, some 39 per cent of responses were from the Americas, with 26 per cent from Europe, 25 per cent from Asia Pacific and 12 per cent from Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (figures rounded).

• Eighteen per cent of respondents were from the physical sciences, 21.3 per cent from engineering and technology, 22.1 per cent from the social sciences, 15.4 per cent from clinical subjects, 12.7 per cent from life sciences and 10.5 per cent from the arts and humanities.

The full methodology of the survey, and a copy of the survey instrument, is available at:

Data for the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings were provided by Thomson Reuters from its Global Institutional Profiles project, an ongoing multi-stage process to collect and validate factual data about academic institutional performance across a variety of aspects and multiple disciplines:

iPhone app – World University Rankings
The separate 2012-2013 World University Rankings, based on 13 largely objective indicators, are available online at and via a free Times Higher Education iPhone app, which provides rankings data on the world’s best-performing 400 institutions and includes information such as average tuition fees per institution and the cost of living in each university location. Powered by Thomson Reuters, the app allows users to create their own rankings based on personal preferences and criteria weightings so that they can find the institution that best suits their needs.

About Times Higher Education magazine

Times Higher Education is the world’s most authoritative source of information about higher education. Designed specifically for professional people working in higher education and research, Times Higher Education was founded in 1971 and has been online since 1995. Times Higher Education is published by TSL Education Ltd.

About Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision-makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare and science and media markets, powered by the world’s most trusted news organisation. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs more than 55,000 people and operates in more than 100 countries.

For more information, go to


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