World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Times Higher Education 2012-13 World University Rankings



Australia excels in latest rankings, with six top 100 institutions - up from four last year

Most of Australia’s top institutions have risen up the table, and it adds a further top 200 representative

California Institute of Technology holds on to the world’s number one spot, while Harvard is pushed into FOURTH place by Oxford and Stanford, which share 2nd place

Major gains across Asia-Pacific countries, with falls for leading institutions in the West

New Zealand’s only top 200 representative, Auckland, gains ground

US still dominates with seven institutions in top 10 and 76 in top 200, but strong representation masks alarming sector-wide decline – with 51 US institutions falling down the table

UK loses a top 200 representative as most UK institutions lose ground, with household names among the victims

Russia and India again fail to make the top 200 list, while Norway and Spain lose their only top 200 representatives

China’s massive investment in developing world-class universities is paying off

Australia and New Zealand have seen significant improvements in the 2012-13 Times Higher Education World University Rankings published today. They form part of a dynamic Asia-Pacific higher education zone gaining serious ground on the traditional powerhouses of the US and UK.

The California Institute of Technology has retained its place at the top of the World University Rankings for 2012-13, with Harvard University pushed into fourth place by the UK’s University of Oxford and Stanford University, which share second place.

As with last year, the US utterly dominates the rankings, taking seven of the top 10 places. This year it has 76 institutions in the top 200 in total -- one more than last year. But the dominance of the US masks worrying falls for many of its institutions, in stark contrast to significant gains among Asia-Pacific universities.

Australia’s number one institution, the University of Melbourne, has shot up from 37th in the rankings last year to inside the top 30, at 28th. It has widened its lead on second-placed Australian National University, which moved up from 38th to 37th. The University of Sydney was one of the few Australian institutions to drop – but only marginally from 58th to 62nd.

Australia has also gained an additional top 200 university, with the University of Adelaide entering the top 200 at 176th.

Of Australia’s eight top 200 representatives, six improved their positions. The generally good news for the whole Australian sector is reflected in a new analysis that examines the average movement of the top 200 institutions in each country. On this measure, Australia saw the third-biggest ranking improvement in the world, with its top 200 institutions rising an average of 15 places. This compares to the US and UK, which have seen average falls of more than six places each.

Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education rankings, said: “Despite high-profile problems with international student recruitment, and some reputational challenges, this has been a really strong year for Australia. Not only has it gained an additional representative in the top 200 since last year, but the majority of Australian institutions have improved their positions.

“The improvements are primarily down to better scores for research, in both scholarly papers per staff and citation impact. It is also clear that Australia is investing in its universities.

Of the US’s 76 top 200 representatives, 51 fell down the table in the face of mounting competition from heavy-spending Asian nations.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are the world’s most comprehensive and carefully calibrated global rankings, using 13 separate performance indicators to examine a university’s strengths against all of its core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. All data are collected, analysed and verified by global data provider Thomson Reuters.

This year’s rankings, which employ an identical methodology to the 2011-12 rankings for clear year-on-year comparisons, provide firm new evidence of a power shift from west to east in global higher education and research.

The rankings show heavy casualties of cuts to public funding for US state universities. Key research institutions of the University of California system fell, including UC Davis (from 38th to 44th), and other significant casualties included Pennsylvania State University (51st to 61st), the University of Massachusetts (64th to 72nd) and Arizona State University (127th to 148th).

The UK, which has also been hit by public funding cuts to higher education and research, also suffered. The UK lost one of its top 200 representatives (University of Dundee) and now has 31 top 200 institutions. Nineteen of the remaining 31 top 200 institutions also tumbled in 2012-13. Prestigious institutions such as the University of Bristol (66th to 74th) and the University of Glasgow in Scotland (102 to 139th) fell.

In stark contrast, the leading universities from across the Asia-Pacific region saw significant improvements.

China’s two top 200 institutions both rose, with Peking University moving from 49th to 46th and Tsinghua jumping 19 places from 71st to 52nd. Thanks to extremely strong income figures, Singapore’s two top 200 institutions saw spectacular success. The National University of Singapore moved from 40th to 29th and Nanyang Technological University rocketed up the table from 169th to 86th.

Every one of South Korea’s institutions rose up the tables, with the most spectacular improvement by Seoul National University, which rose from 124 to 59th. The country also gained a new representative in the top 200 – Yonsei University, entering at 183rd.

Phil Baty said: “No doubt Australia is really starting to benefit from the power shift from the West to the East in higher education – it has great advantages being close to the exciting innovation and research hotspots in Asia. If it can fully exploit the geographical advantage it has over Europe and North America, there’s every reason to believe it can be part of a real higher education revolution in Asia-Pacific.”

Key Facts:

• There are a total of 24 countries in the world top 200 list – two fewer than last year

• The highest-ranked institution outside of the US and UK is ETH Zürich, in Switzerland, in 12th place

• Asia’s number one university is the University of Tokyo, in 27th place

• After the US and UK, the Netherlands is the next best represented nation in the top 200, with 12 institutions, but its highest-ranked institution, Leiden University, makes only 64th place

• Germany has 11 universities in the top 200, and its highest-ranked, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, makes 48th place

• Of the so-called BRIC developing economies, Russia and India have no representatives in the top 200

• All of the Netherlands’ 12 universities improved their positions in the rankings

• Brazil’s sole top 200 institution, the University of São Paulo, moved up 20 places to 158, and a sub-200 institution, the State University of Campinas, is moving closer to the top 200

• Italy does not have a single country in the top 200, and most of its representatives in the 200-400 bands posted declines

• Japan has five top 200 universities, more than any other Asian nation, but most of its representatives have slipped a little down the table while Asian rivals rise

• France has seven institutions in the top 200, compared to just five last year

• The Middle East is represented in the top 200 only by Israel, which now has three top 200 representatives, up from two last year

• Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have no top 200 institutions, but all have members of the 200-400 group

• Switzerland maintained its seven members of the top 200, but all but the top two slipped

• Ireland has just two top 200 institutions – and neither make the top 100

• Sweden has five top 200 universities, but its top three have slipped

• Six countries have only one top 200 representative – Austria, Brazil, Finland, New Zealand, South Africa and Taiwan

• The whole of Africa has only a single representative in the top 200: the University of Cape Town, which has slipped from 103 to 113

• Belgium now has four top 200 institutions – up from three last year – and every one of its representatives has improved its ranking position

• New Zealand’s sole representative, Auckland, has improved its position

• Australia increased its representation by one, and now has eight institutions in the table. Six of the eight improved their rankings

• The average top 200 US university fell 6.5 places, while the average UK institution fell 6.7 places

• The South Korean institutions in the top 200 rose a startling 23.5 place on average, and the Hong Kong institutions rose an average of 8.5 places


Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education rankings, said: “There is no question that the balance of power in global higher education is shifting. Strong support for world-class universities in the East, and clear national commitments to driving the knowledge economy through investment in research and innovation, is paying off. Almost without exception the top institutions of Asia – in China, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea – are marching up the global rankings.

“In stark contrast, funding cuts are hurting the West. The traditional powerhouses of the US and UK are losing ground. This should be a cause for alarm for Western governments.”

Writing in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings publication in a personal capacity, Dirk Van Damme, the head of the Innovation and Measuring Progress Division at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said: “Academic excellence is gradually shifting away from the 20th-century centres. The US and UK still dominate the absolute top, but they face a severe loss of total ranking positions in the top 200 list.”

Van Damme’s analysis of the results also suggested that the elite top 40 institutions may be suffering from complacency, with a “sub-top” group ranked between 40 and 100 performing more efficiently in research. “On average, the sub-top universities are more effective than the top 40 in translating research investment into citations output,” he said. “The concern is that those at the absolute top of the rankings have become complacent, and lack efficiency and innovation. They rely on their reputation and unchallenged capacity to raise resources.”

David Willetts, the UK’s universities and science minister, said: “The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13 show it is not only in Olympics sports that Britain excels…Our university sector has maintained its world-class status…but we can not be complacent. In particular, the rankings show the rapid advances taking place in East Asia and the Pacific region…In future, any country that stands still – or moves forward only slowly – will find itself slipping down the international league as other countries try harder, invest more and improve their research.”

Simon Pratt, product manager at Thomson Reuters, said: “We continue to see a high level of engagement and collaboration from participating universities. This year we had 700 institutions actively participating in the Institutional Profiles project. This is a strong endorsement of the rigorous data collection process and analysis. As we enter the fourth year of the Institutional Profiles initiative we have the broadest and deepest set of key performance indicators on Universities globally, drawing on Thomson Reuters institutional, reputation, and citation data. This is the ideal foundation for the Times Higher Education World University Ranking.”

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

(Copyright Times Higher Education. If reproducing this table, or any part of this table, you must provide a link to

2012-13 RankInstitution NameCountry2011-12 Rank
1California Institute of TechnologyUnited States1
=2University of OxfordUnited Kingdom4
=2Stanford UniversityUnited States2
4Harvard UniversityUnited States2
5Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUnited States7
6Princeton UniversityUnited States5
7University of CambridgeUnited Kingdom6
8Imperial College LondonUnited Kingdom8
9University of California, BerkeleyUnited States10
10University of ChicagoUnited States9
11Yale UniversityUnited States11
12ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ZurichSwitzerland15
13University of California, Los AngelesUnited States13
14Columbia University United States12
15University of PennsylvaniaUnited States16
16Johns Hopkins UniversityUnited States14
17University College LondonUnited Kingdom17
18Cornell UniversityUnited States20
19Northwestern UniversityUnited States26
20University of MichiganUnited States18
21University of TorontoCanada19
22Carnegie Mellon UniversityUnited States21
23Duke UniversityUnited States22
24University of WashingtonUnited States25
=25Georgia Institute of TechnologyUnited States24
=25University of Texas at AustinUnited States29
27University of TokyoJapan30
28University of MelbourneAustralia37
29National University of SingaporeSingapore40
30University of British ColumbiaCanada22
31University of Wisconsin MadisonUnited States27
32University of EdinburghUnited Kingdom36
33University of Illinois - UrbanaUnited States31
34McGill UniversityCanada28
=35University of Hong KongHong Kong34
=35University of California, Santa BarbaraUnited States35
37Australian National UniversityAustralia38
38University of California, San DiegoUnited States33
39London School of Economics and Political ScienceUnited Kingdom47
40École Polytechnique Fédérale of LausanneSwitzerland46
41New York UniversityUnited States44
=42Karolinska InstituteSweden32
=42University of North CarolinaUnited States43
=44University of California, DavisUnited States38
=44Washington University in Saint LouisUnited States41
46Peking UniversityChina49
47University of MinnesotaUnited States42
48University of MunichGermany45
49University of ManchesterUnited Kingdom48
50Pohang University of Science and TechnologyKorea, Republic of53
51Brown UniversityUnited States49
52Tsinghua UniversityChina71
53Ohio State UniversityUnited States57
=54Boston UniversityUnited States54
=54Kyoto UniversityJapan52
56University of Southern CaliforniaUnited States55
57King's College LondonUnited Kingdom56
58Katholieke Universiteit LeuvenBelgium67
=59École Normale Supérieure, ParisFrance59
=59Seoul National UniversityKorea, Republic of124
61Pennsylvania State UniversityUnited States51
=62École PolytechniqueFrance63
=62University of SydneyAustralia58
64Leiden UniversityNetherlands79
=65Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong Kong62
=65University of Queensland, AustraliaAustralia74
67Utrecht UniversityNetherlands68
68Korea Advanced Institute of Science and TechnologyKorea, Republic of94
69Purdue UniversityUnited States98
70University of GöttingenGermany69
70Wageningen University and Research CenterNetherlands75
=72Erasmus University RotterdamNetherlands157
=72University of MassachusettsUnited States64
74University of BristolUnited Kingdom66
75Rice UniversityUnited States72
76University of PittsburghUnited States59
77Delft University of TechnologyNetherlands104
78Universität HeidelbergGermany73
79Emory UniversityUnited States75
80Durham UniversityUnited Kingdom83
81Université Pierre et Marie Curie France84
82Lund UniversitySweden80
83University of AmsterdamNetherlands92
84University of MontrealCanada104
85University of New South WalesAustralia173
86Nanyang Technological UniversitySingapore169
87Tufts UniversityUnited States77
88McMaster UniversityCanada65
89University of GroningenNetherlands134
89University of ZurichSwitzerland61
91University of ColoradoUnited States77
92Université Paris-Sud FranceNot ranked
93Ghent UniversityBelgium106
=94Michigan State UniversityUnited States96
=94University of Notre DameUnited States89
96University of California, IrvineUnited States86
97University of Maryland College ParkUnited States94
98University of ArizonaUnited States97
=99Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinGermany109
=99Monash UniversityAustralia117
=99Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyUnited States81
102University of RochesterUnited States81
103University of YorkUnited Kingdom121
104Case Western Reserve UniversityUnited States93
105Technische Universität MünchenGermany88
=106Uppsala UniversitySweden87
=106Vanderbilt UniversityUnited States70
108University of St. AndrewsUnited Kingdom85
109University of HelsinkiFinland91
=110University of SheffieldUnited Kingdom101
=110University of SussexUnited Kingdom99
=110Trinity College DublinIreland, Republic of117
113University of Cape TownSouth Africa103
114Eindhoven University of TechnologyNetherlands115
115Maastricht UniversityNetherlands197
116Aarhus UniversityDenmark125
117Stockholm UniversitySweden131
118University of VirginiaUnited States135
119Royal Holloway, University of LondonUnited Kingdom107
120University of NottinghamUnited Kingdom140
121University of AlbertaCanada100
=122University of California, Santa CruzUnited States110
=122University of FloridaUnited States125
=124Chinese University Hong KongHong Kong151
=124Dartmouth CollegeUnited States90
=124University of WarwickUnited Kingdom157
127Radboud University NijmegenNetherlands159
=128Freie Universität BerlinGermany151
=128Tokyo Institute of TechnologyJapan108
=130University of CopenhagenDenmark135
=130University of LausanneSwitzerland116
=130University of SouthamptonUnited Kingdom127
133University of GenevaSwitzerland130
=134Indiana UniversityUnited States123
=134National Taiwan UniversityTaiwan154
=134University of UtahUnited States113
=137Hebrew University of JerusalemIsrael121
=137Tohoku UniversityJapan120
139University of GlasgowUnited Kingdom102
=140Royal Institute of TechnologySweden187
=140VU University AmsterdamNetherlands159
=142University of BaselSwitzerland111
=142University of LeedsUnited Kingdom133
144University of FreiburgGermany189
=145Lancaster UniversityUnited Kingdom131
=145Queen Mary, University of LondonUnited Kingdom127
147Osaka UniversityJapan119
148Arizona State UniversityUnited States127
149Technical University of DenmarkDenmark178
150Boston CollegeUnited States195
=151University of BernSwitzerland112
=151Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyGermany196
153University of ExeterUnited Kingdom156
=154University of California, RiversideUnited States143
=154RWTH Aachen UniversityGermany168
=156Texas A&M UniversityUnited States164
=156Yeshiva UniversityUnited States154
=158University of BirminghamUnited Kingdom148
=158University of São PauloBrazil178
=158Tel Aviv UniversityIsrael166
161University of AucklandNew Zealand173
=162Stony Brook UniversityUnited States114
=162University of ViennaAustria139
164Université Catholique de LouvainBelgium169
165University of DelawareUnited States180
166Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7France169
167University of Texas at DallasUnited States251-275
168George Washington UniversityUnited States135
169University of IowaUnited States141
170École Normale Supérieure de LyonFrance141
=171Universität BonnGermanyNot ranked
=171University of LiverpoolUnited Kingdom181
=171University of OttawaCanada185
=174Georgetown UniversityUnited States138
=174Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteUnited States144
=176University of AberdeenUnited Kingdom151
=176University of AdelaideAustralia201-225
=176University of East AngliaUnited Kingdom145
=176University of ReadingUnited Kingdom164
=180Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1 FranceNot ranked
=180Newcastle UniversityUnited Kingdom146
182City University Hong KongHong Kong193
183Yonsei UniversityKorea, Republic of226-250
=184Colorado School of MinesUnited States201-225
=184University of Illinois - ChicagoUnited States167
=184William & MaryUnited States146
=187University College DublinIreland, Republic of159
=187University of TwenteNetherlands200
189Medical University of South CarolinaUnited States162
=190Wake Forest UniversityUnited States162
=190University of Western AustraliaAustralia189
192University of AntwerpBelgium276-300
=193Iowa State UniversityUnited States184
=193University of MiamiUnited States172
=193Technion Israel Institute of TechnologyIsrael201-225
=196University of LeicesterUnited Kingdom197
=196University of VictoriaCanada177
198State University of New York BuffaloUnited States201-225
199Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am MainGermany181
200Birkbeck, University of LondonUnited Kingdom149

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13. Average change in ranking position per university*

(Copyright Times Higher Education 2012. Link to

CountryNumber of universities in top 200Country mean score 2012/13Total change in ranking position 2011/12-2012/13Average change in ranking position per university listed 2011/12-2012/13
United States7665.6-494-6.50
United Kingdom3160.1-208-6.71
South Korea461.99423.50
Hong Kong460.7348.50

* This table contains new analysis by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13. It examines the average movement of each nation’s universities in the top 200 (only those nations with more than three top 200 universities are listed).

iPhone App – World University Rankings

The 2012-2013 rankings are available via a free Times Higher Education iPhone app containing rankings data about the world’s 400 best-performing institutions. Powered by data from Thomson Reuters, the app allows users to create their own rankings based on personal preferences and criteria weightings so they can find the institution that best suits their needs. The app and data is available for free download on the iTunes store from 4 October.

Notes to Editors

Methodology Key Facts

• The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13 draw on:

• World’s largest academic reputation survey (16,639 academics in 2012, and almost 50,000 since 2010)

• 50,000,000 citations analysed and compared with the world average from the same field

• Arts, humanities and social sciences placed on an equal footing with science

• 13 indicators across five areas have been taken into account, making this the ONLY world rankings to examine ALL core missions of a modern global university - research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity. They are:

Industry Income - innovation

1. Research income from industry / Academic staff

Teaching – the learning environment

2. Reputation survey – Teaching

3. Staff-to-student ratio

4. PhDs awarded / Undergraduate degrees awarded

5. PhDs awarded / Academic staff

6. Institutional income / Academic staff

Citations – research influence

7. Citation impact (normalised average citations per paper)

Research – volume, income and reputation

8. Reputation survey – Research

9. Research income / Academic staff

10. Scholarly papers / (Academic staff + Research staff)

International Outlook – staff, students and research

11. International students / Total students

12. International academic staff / Total academic staff

13. Scholarly papers with one or more international co-authors / Total scholarly papers

Terminology & Intellectual Property

• The full title of the tables is “Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13”

• Data for the Times Higher Education World University Rankings was provided by Thomson Reuters from its Global Institutional Profiles Project, an ongoing, multi-stage process that collects and validates factual data about academic institutional performance across a range of aspects and multiple disciplines.

• Any publication of the “Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13” tables (in full or part) should include full attribution to “Times Higher Education with data supplied by Thomson Reuters”

• YOU MUST include the following link when publishing the “Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13” tables (in full or part): or

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 and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs approximately 60,000 people and operates in over 100 countries. For more information, see

2012-2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings supplement

These rankings are published in full in the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings supplement on Thursday 4th October 2012.

This supplement is sponsored by IDP Education. IDP Education is one of the world’s leading international student placement services, enrolling students in educational institutions in the UK, the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. IDP is also a one-third shareholder in IELTS, the world’s largest English language proficiency test.

Andrew Thompson, Chief Executive of IDP Education, said: “IDP, as one of the world’s leading international student placement services and co-owner of the IELTS English test, is delighted to again be the sponsor of THE’s World University Rankings supplement. WUR is a powerful resource for international students, helping them choose the university which is the best match for their needs.”


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN News: Rare Coral Reef Discovered Near Tahiti Is ‘Like A Work Of Art’, Says Diver
One of the largest coral reefs in the world has been discovered by a UN-supported scientific mission off the coast of Tahiti. Announcing the stunning find on Thursday, UNESCO said that divers had explored large rose-shaped corals spanning some three kilometres, at depths of between 30 and 65 metres... More>>

Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>