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Times Higher Education 2014 World Reputation Rankings


Key Asian institutions make strong progress in the list of the world’s 100 most prestigious universities

US confirms supremacy as it takes eight of the top 10 positions and 46 of the top 100 – with Harvard University, MIT and Stanford University claiming the top three spots

Japan remains Asia’s leading nation in the prestige stakes, but the University of Tokyo falls out of the top 10 for the first time since the rankings were established

Worrying evidence of reputational decline among UK institutions

Six Anglo-American “super-brands” continue to stand apart from pack – but the gap closes

Seoul National University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology are identified as rising stars in the world’s biggest academic reputation survey

Australia takes a hit in the global index of academic prestige

Poor performance by France and Sweden; disappointment for Brazil

Russia’s flagship university slips out of the top 50

Times Higher Education magazine today publishes its 2014 World Reputation Rankings – the definitive list of the world’s 100 most prestigious universities, based on the largest invitation-only survey of senior academics.

A strong global reputation is essential to university success, allowing institutions to attract staff, students, business investment, research partners and benefactions in a highly competitive world market.

The 2014 rankings have again highlighted an elite group of six US and UK “super-brands” that stands head and shoulders above the rest: Harvard University in first place, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in second, Stanford University third, the University of Cambridge fourth, the University of Oxford fifth and the University of California, Berkeley sixth.

But the US has strengthened its grip on the tables: Stanford’s rise of three places from sixth last year pushes Oxford and Cambridge down a place each. And the California Institute of Technology’s rise (up two places to ninth) displaces the University of Tokyo from the top 10, the first time it has failed to secure a spot since the reputation rankings were established in 2011.

Overall, the US is the undisputed superpower when it comes to university brands, and it is gaining in strength. It takes the top three places, eight of the top 10 (up from seven last year) and 46 of the top 100 (up from 43 in 2013). Of those 46 institutions, only 14 have lost ground.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia loses ground. It now has five top 100 representatives, down from six in 2013: Monash University, which scraped in last year, loses out after a small drop in performance. Only one Australian institution, the University of Melbourne (down four places to joint 43rd), remains in the top 50 compared with three last year, although the country’s performance has remained largely stable since the survey began in 2011.

Asia’s strongest performer by a distance is Japan, with five top 100 representatives. While its flagship, Tokyo, exits the top 10, its peers do better: Kyoto University makes the top 20, Osaka University enters the top 50 and the Tokyo Institute of Technology rises from 61-70 to 51-60.

China and the special administrative region of Hong Kong have had a mixed year. China’s top institution, Tsinghua University, slips one place to 36th, while Peking University climbs four places to 41st. While Hong Kong’s highest-placed representative, Hong KongUniversity, falls from 36th to joint 43rd, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology rises a band to 51-60, edging closer to the top 50 after starting in the 91-100 band in 2011.

South Korea has done well this year, gaining an extra representative, Yonsei University, which jumps straight into the 81-90 band. Meanwhile, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology moves from 61-70 to 51-60 while the country’s flagship, SeoulNational University, becomes Asia’s biggest riser, leaping from 41st to 26th.

The National University of Singapore continues its steady year-on-year progress, rising from 27th in the first exercise in 2011 to 21st this year. Meanwhile, Singapore’s other player, Nanyang Technological University, slips into the 91-100 band.

Taiwan’s sole representative, National Taiwan University, maintains its place in the 51-60 band.

After the US, the UK has the most top 100 representatives: 10, up from nine last year. However, its overall showing has worsened since 2011, when it had 12 representatives. The data also reveal a worrying polarisation between the “golden triangle” (London,Oxford and Cambridge) and the rest of the UK.

In representative terms, the US and the UK are followed by Germany, which gains a top 100 entrant, RWTH Aachen University (joining the 91-100 group), giving it six institutions in the rankings. Germany’s fortunes contrast dramatically with France’s. Two French institutions fall out of the top 100 (Université Paris-Sud and École Polytechnique), leaving the country with just two representatives.

Russia, meanwhile, loses its foothold in the top 50: its only representative, Lomonosov Moscow State University, falls into the 51-60 band.

In total, 20 countries are represented.
The World Reputation Rankings are part of the portfolio of league tables that has established Times Higher Education as the most respected provider of comparative global higher education performance data. They 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 58,117 responses from more than 150 countries in four annual rounds. The 2014 results are based on 10,536 responses from published senior academics who reported an average of 18 years working in higher education.

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 academics changing jobs (

Key facts
• There are 20 countries represented in the world top 100 reputation list
• Five make the top 20: the US, the UK, Japan, Canada and Switzerland
• Only the US and the UK make the top 10
• The highest-ranking university outside the UK and the US is Japan’s University of Tokyo (11th, down two places)
• Six London universities in the top 100, more than any other city in the world
• South Korea’s Seoul National University is Asia’s biggest riser, up 15 places to 26th, but it remains only fourth in the region
• King’s College London is Europe’s biggest riser – up from 61-70 to joint 43rd
• India does not have a single representative in the tables
• Brazil’s University of São Paulo is the sole South American presence (81-90 band)
• A number of institutions’ standing does not match their excellence, with reputation rankings much lower than their positions in the more objective World University Rankings. They include: UC Santa Barbara (33rd in the WUR 2013-14, 61-70 in the reputation rankings); Brown University (joint 52nd in the WUR, 81-90 by reputation); and the University of Queensland (joint 63rd in the WUR, 81-90 by reputation)
• The Republic of Ireland is not represented
• Three institutions seem to be enjoying a reputational “halo effect”, included in the tables but failing to make the top 200 of the World University Rankings: Moscow State, Middle East Technical and São Paulo


Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education Rankings, says:

“A university’s reputation for academic excellence is absolutely vital to its success: it drives student and faculty recruitment, international research partnerships, and helps to attract philanthropy and industrial investment. And while reputation is based on subjective opinion, in this case it is the informed, expert opinion of those in the know: experienced scholars from around the world.

“The annual Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, based now on responses from almost 60,000 carefully selected and statistically representative academics, have become a closely watched and vital indicator of the fortunes of global university brands.”

Bahram Bekhradnia, president of the UK’s Higher Education Policy Institute, says:

“While reputation surveys do not tell you anything objective about quality, they nevertheless do reflect visibility and awareness by others of a university’s activities: academics are likely to be more aware of those with whom they’ve recently collaborated, those with recent relevant articles and those presenting at conferences. So a reputation survey such as this is likely to be a harbinger of things to come and a predictor of subsequent trends.”

Results Tables

Copyright Times Higher Education. If reproducing this table or any part of it, you MUST include a link to

THE WRR 2014THE WRR 2013 Institution nameCountry / Region
11Harvard UniversityUS
22Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUS
36Stanford UniversityUS
43University of CambridgeUK
54University of OxfordUK
65University of California, BerkeleyUS
77Princeton UniversityUS
810Yale UniversityUS
911California Institute of TechnologyUS
108University of California, Los AngelesUS
119University of TokyoJapan
1213Columbia UniversityUS
13=14Imperial College LondonUK
14=14University of ChicagoUS
1512University of MichiganUS
16=20ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute ofTechnology, ZürichSwitzerland
1717Cornell UniversityUS
1819Johns Hopkins UniversityUS
1923Kyoto UniversityJapan
2016University of TorontoCanada
2122National University of SingaporeSingapore
2218University of PennsylvaniaUS
2324University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUS
2425London School of Economics and Political ScienceUK
2520University College LondonUK
2641Seoul National UniversitySouth Korea
2729New York UniversityUS
2830University of Wisconsin-MadisonUS
2926Carnegie Mellon UniversityUS
30=31Duke UniversityUS
31=27University of WashingtonUS
3240University of California, San FranciscoUS
33=31University of British ColumbiaCanada
33=31McGill UniversityCanada
33=27University of Texas at AustinUS
3635Tsinghua UniversityChina
3737Northwestern UniversityUS
3838Georgia Institute of TechnologyUS
3951-60Pennsylvania State UniversityUS
4034University of California, San DiegoUS
4145Peking UniversityChina
4251-60Delft University of TechnologyNetherlands
4336University of Hong KongHong Kong
4361-70King's College LondonUK
4339University of MelbourneAustralia
4646University of EdinburghUK
4644Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenGermany
48=50Purdue UniversityUS
4951-60École Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneSwitzerland
5051-60Osaka UniversityJapan
51-6048University of California, DavisUS
51-6061-70Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong Kong
51-6061-70Karolinska InstituteSweden
51-6061-70Korea Advanced Institute of Science and TechnologySouth Korea
51-6047University of ManchesterUK
51-6051-60University of MinnesotaUS
51-6050Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityRussian Federation
51-6051-60Ohio State UniversityUS
51-6051-60National Taiwan UniversityTaiwan
51-6061-70Tokyo Institute of TechnologyJapan
61-7042Australian National UniversityAustralia
61-7051-60University of California, Santa BarbaraUS
61-7042University of MassachusettsUS
61-7071-80Michigan State UniversityUS
61-7051-60University of North Carolina at Chapel HillUS
61-7071-80Universität HeidelbergGermany
61-7061-70University of Southern CaliforniaUS
61-7049University of SydneyAustralia
61-7061-70Technische Universität MünchenGermany
61-7061-70Tohoku UniversityJapan
71-8081-90University of AmsterdamNetherlands
71-8081-90Boston UniversityUS
71-8071-80Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinGermany
71-80-Indiana UniversityUS
71-8071-80Katholieke Universiteit LeuvenBelgium
71-8051-60Middle East Technical UniversityTurkey
71-8071-80Université Paris-SorbonneFrance
71-8071-80University of PittsburghUS
71-8091-100Texas A&M UniversityUS
71-8081-90Washington University in St LouisUS
81-9081-90Brown UniversityUS
81-9081-90Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong
81-9091-100Freie Universität BerlinGermany
81-9061-70Leiden UniversityNetherlands
81-9091-100University of Maryland, College ParkUS
81-90-Mayo Medical SchoolUS
81-9071-80University of QueenslandAustralia
81-9061-70University of São PauloBrazil
81-9081-90Utrecht UniversityNetherlands
81-90-Yonsei UniversitySouth Korea
91-100-University of ArizonaUS
91-10081-90University of FloridaUS
91-100-London Business SchoolUK
91-100-London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineUK
91-10071-80Nanyang Technological UniversitySingapore
91-10081-90University of New South WalesAustralia
91-10081-90Université Pierre et Marie CurieFrance
91-10081-90Rutgers, the State University of New JerseyUS
91-100-RWTH Aachen UniversityGermany
91-100-Technion Israel Institute of TechnologyIsrael

Copyright Times Higher Education. If reproducing this table or any part of it, you MUST include a link to
CountryNumber of institutions in the top 100Top institutionTop institution rank
US46Harvard University1
UK10University of Cambridge4
Germany6Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München=46
Japan5University of Tokyo11
Australia5University of Melbourne=43
Netherlands4Delft University of Technology42
Canada3University of Toronto20
South Korea3Seoul National University26
Hong Kong3University of Hong Kong=43
Switzerland2ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute ofTechnology, Zürich16
Singapore2National University of Singapore21
China2Tsinghua University36
France2Université Paris-Sorbonne71-80
Taiwan1National Taiwan University51-60
Sweden1Karolinska Institute51-60
Russia1Lomonosov Moscow State University51-60
Turkey1Middle East Technical University71-80
Belgium1Katholieke Universiteit Leuven71-80
Brazil1University of São Paulo81-90
Israel1Technion Israel Institute of Technology 91-100

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Notes to editors

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 2014 World Reputation Rankings are based on 10,536 responses from 133 countries to the survey distributed in March-May 2013.
• The survey is available in 10 languages and is distributed based on United Nations data to ensure that 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 2014 table, some 30 per cent of responses were from the Americas, 34 per cent from Europe, 26 per cent from Asia Pacific and 9 per cent from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (figures rounded).
• Twenty-two per cent of respondents hail from engineering and technology, 22 per cent from the social sciences, 18 per cent from the physical sciences, 16 per cent from clinical subjects, 13 per cent from the life sciences and 9 per cent from the arts and humanities.

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

Terminology and intellectual property

• The full description of the tables is “Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2014”
• 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:
• Any publication of the “Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2014” tables (in full or in part) should include full attribution to “Times Higher Education with data supplied by Thomson Reuters”
• Please include the following link when publishing the “Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2014” tables (in full or in part): or

iPhone app – World University Rankings

The separate 2013-2014 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 top 400 institutions. 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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