South Africa University Ranking

Today we will take a closer look at the best universities in South Africa through our overview of South Africa University Rankings 2012. To give you the highest ranking South-African universities, we will make use of three ranking systems that have a worldwide view, and zoom down to the South-African institutions included in these separate rankings.

The three world wide rankings that we make use of here have been discussed in detail in previous posts. You will find the methods used in their respective sections. Links to all the sources can also be found in these dedicated sections.

When evaluating the below rankings, you will appreciate that the University of Capetown is the undisputed number one in South Africa. Below that, the ranking institutions are not in agreement. This is of course due to the different methodologies. Another reason can be that the ranking Academic Ranking of World Universities is slightly dated (2010).

Rankings used:

What they came up with:

Times Higher Education ranking 2012
1. University of Cape Town, South Africa
2a.Stellenbosch University, South Africa
2b.University of Witwatersrand

The Leiden ranking
1. University Cape Town
2. Stellenbosch University
3. University Witwatersrand
4. University Pretoria

Academic Ranking of World Universities
1. University of Cape Town
2. University of the Witwatersrand
3. University of KwaZulu-Natal

Academic Ranking of World Universities

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is a university ranking conducted by the Institute of Higher Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Center for World-Class Universities, both located in China. The 500 institutions long list is published every year, although they somehow skipped a year. The current publication is for 2010, and the 2012 ranking is expected shortly.

Interestingly enough, the ranking only looks at universities that with certain qualifying factors. To be considered for the list, an institution needs one of the following:
A Nobel laureate; a fields medallist; highly cited researchers; papers published in Nature or Science; or a high number of papers indexed by Science Citation Index-Expanded and Social Science Citation Index. 
In practice this means that most serious institutions are evaluated, so if you are looking for the best university through the Academic Ranking of World Universities, this restriction is rather harmless.
In the ranking methodology, the laureates and Field medal winners also play a big role.

What they look at:
| Quality of Education (10%) | Quality of Faculty (40%) | Research Output (40%) | Per Capita Perfomance (10%) |

What they came up with:
1. Harvard University
2. University of California, Berkeley
3. Stanford University
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
5. University of Cambridge
6. California Institute of Technology
7. Princeton University
8. Columbia University
9. University of Chicago
10.University of Oxford

The complete list of the Academic Ranking of World Universities can be found here.

Leiden Ranking

The Leiden ranking is a University ranking system developed by the university of Leiden, The Netherlands.

The ranking lists the top 500 universities based on publications on the Web of Science (WoS) website, a scientific publication database run by Thomson Reuters. The Leiden Ranking system looks at publications in multiple languages to avoid an English bias. Publications on arts and humanities are not used in the ranking, because there is no sufficient data available for in the Web of Science databases to rank universities on it.

The ranking is for the 2011-2012 period, but is based on publications on WoS between 2005 and 2009. This probably has to do with the period needed for articles to 'mature' so their impact can be measured through citations.
The top 10 in the Leiden Ranking is made up completely of U.S. based universities, who are apparently the publication grandmasters on Web of Science.

The Leiden Ranking thus gives useful information on universities, but only about scientific publications, and only through one source of publications. It is in that sense similar to the rankings based on web presence of universities only, with the difference that the number of publications probably is a much better indicator of university quality than having a nice website is.

What they look at:
| Impact of publications on WoS | Collaboration indicators on WoS |

What they came up with:
1. MIT
2. Princeton University
3. Harvard University
4. Rice University
5. Stanford University
6. Caltech
7. Univ. California - Santa Barbara
8. Univ. California - Berkeley
9. Carnegie Mellon University
10.University of California - San Francisco

The complete 500 institution-long list can be found on the Leiden Ranking website.

Newsweek International University Ranking

Newsweek has ranked the top notch International Institutions worldwide for 2011. They compiled a list with the top 25 high ranking universities outside of the U.S.A. How very refreshing to have a worlds best university list without Harvard at place 1!

With the U.S. institutions removed from Newsweek's ranking, we see the U.K take in pole position, with the top 10 sporting three British Universities. Japan and Canada both have two institutions in the ranking by Newsweek. Germany, Switserland and Australia are also represented in the top 10.

This time, Newsweek did not do the ranking themselves, but combined existing rankings from Times Higher Education, Webometrics and Shanghai Ranking Consultancy to create their Newsweek ranking. Newsweek used a couple of factors to decide which international university is the best, which they took from their source rankings. Crucially, they did not measure these factors themselves, although of course Newsweek did decide how to weigh each factor.

What did they look at
| Quality of Teachers | Research output | Academic citations | income from Research | Webometrics ranking | Citations | Publications in Nature and Science |

What did they come up with

1. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
2. University of Oxford, United Kingdom
3. University of Toronto, Canada
4. University of Tokyo, Japan
5. University College London, United Kingdom
6. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology—ETH Zurich, Switzerland
7. Kyoto University, Japan
8. University of British Columbia, Canada
9. University of Munich, Germany
10. University of Melbourne, Australia

The complete list by Newsweek with the top 25 best International Universities can be found here.

University Ranking Iran

Today we look at the University and Higher Education Institutions Rankings in the Islamic Republic of Iran. What many people outside of Iran don't know, is that this country has a fairly well developed education system with a number of high quality universities that churn out proficient engineers and scientists.

To rank the universities in Iran, we make use of the university ranking developed by the University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) Research Laboratory. This organization using multiple factors to rank universities to Identify Iran's best University.
The number one best university in Iran is the University of Tehran, which is ranked on place 193 in the general worldwide ranking.

Below you will find the top 10 Iranian Universities as compiled by URAP.

What did they look at
| Article Publications | Citations | Scientific Productivity | Journal Impact | International Cooperation |

What did they come up with
1. University of Tehran
2. Daneshgahe Azad Eslami
3. Tehran University of Medical Sciences
4. Sharif University of Technology
5. Daneshgahe Tarbiat Modares
6. Shiraz University
7. Iran University of Science and Technology
8. Isfahan University of Technology
9.Shahid Beheshti University
10. Daneshgahe Tabriz

The complete list with all 23 ranked Iranian Universities can be found on this website

Chinese University Ranking 2012

China is big. And of the 1.3 billion people, at this very moment around 80 million are in secondairy and tertiary educational institutions. China also has an impressive 1,552 institutions of higher learning (colleges and universities). But which ones are the best? TheBestUniversity researched this for you.

For this, we took a look at the top 100 list, compiled by, a newsoutlet also called China Internet Information Center, authorized by the Chinese government. This organization has been compiling Chinese University Rankings since 1993. This year a number of 706 Chinese Universities were assessed. All universities were ranked on a number of factors not published by, resulting in a number of points an a ranking.

What did they look at
Currently, the ranking factors are not readily available on the webiste.

What did they come up with
1 Zhejiang University
2 Peking University
3 Tsinghua University
4 Shanghai Jiao Tong University
5 Fudan University
6 Nanjing University
7 Wuhan University
8 Sun Yat-sen University
9 Sichuan University
10 Harbin Institute of Technology

The total list of Chinese Universities as ranked according to the China Internet Information Center can be found here.

Nigerian University Rankings & Webrankings

On the unavailability of Nigerian University Rankings, and the usefulness of Web Rankings.

Becaue our previous post on the Nigerian University Ranking seems to be quite popular, we at TheBestUniversity have decided to give some more information on Nigerian Universities.

Unfortunately, finding rankings on universities in Nigeria seems te be highly difficult. In our last post, published in 2009, the Nigerian National University Commission was still providing us with a ranking list. Please see this previous article for the Nigerian University Ranking. In 2012, however, the Nigerian National University Commission (NNUC) does not provide us with such a ranking anymore. The NNUC website can still be quite useful for finding information on universities, as they offer a list of 37 universities within Nigeria.
Interestingly, many universities have been founded fairly revcently, ten of them even in the last two years. Nigeria's oldest university is the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, founded in 1960.

Nigerian Web Ranking
But if one searches the web, some rankings do include Nigerian universities. Do not be fooled, however. Because these rankings are web rankings, wich do not look at the usual factors such as teaching quality and publications. No, these rankings only take the web-pressence into account, measuring the popularity of the university's website. Notwithstanding that having a proper website is some indicator of the level of professionalism of an institution, pretending that such a ranking is a good indicator of teaching quality is egregious.

The conclusion thus is that currently, no adequate university rankings are available for Nigeria. If this chances in the future, we will be happy to share this with you.

Times Higher Education ranking 2012

Times Higher Education ranking 2012

This ranking is based on the Times Higher Education ranking for 2012. This concerns a ranking of the top 400 best institutions. Ranking is basd on a number factors, including citations and Industry Income. Interstingly, the feature website also sports subsections for regions and university types, and a ranking of the best 100 universities that are relatively new, defined as less than 50 years old.

As usual, the highest ranking unversities are based in the U.S. Some British universities fell a bit in this ranking compared with last year's. The highest university outside of the U.S. and the U.K. is the Swiss based Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich at rank # 15 

What they look at: | Teaching (30%) | Research (30%) | Citations(30%) | Industry income (2.5 %) | International outlook (7.5%) |
What they came up with:The world wide top 10 is constituted as follows
1. California Institute of Technology
2. Harvard University
3. Stanford University
4. University of Oxford
5. Princeton University
6. University of Cambridge
7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
8. Imperial College London
9. University of Chicago
10. University of California Berkeley

The complete list with all the rankings for the Times Higher Education 2012 list can be found here.

You can also take a look at this promo film from the Times Higher Education Ranking

French ‘Gran école D’Ingénieur 2010’ ranking by Letudiant

France is famous for a handful of elite schools. Of all the CEO’s of large French companies, 75% went to one of two most famous schools. These so called ‘Grand Écoles’ or Grand Schools exist outside of the normal French University system, but many are connected to normal universities I the same region. The Grand Ecoles are fairly small sized, with the largest one numbering 3,000 students, and most much smaller than that. They can stay this small because of their restrictive admission policies. Where normal French universities are legally obliged to admit all students with the right previous education, the Grand Ecoles have extensive oral and written tests to filtet out the best students.

Because most politicians, CEO’s and high ranking public servants went to a French Grand Ecole, it is highly prestigious to do university in one of them. Thus, knowing which one to choose is also important, and the following ranking can help in choosing the best Grand École in France.

What did they look at
Tuition Costs Appreciation by students after first year CTI accreditation Research level Number of Doctorates / Doctor titles Research Budget per annum

What they came up with

1. Ecole polytechnique - Palaiseau
2. Ecole centrale - Paris
3. Ecole des mines ParisTech
4. Supélec - Gif-sur-Yvette
5. Ecole des ponts ParisTech
6. Ecole centrale - Lyon
7. Télécom ParisTech
8. ISAE - Toulouse
9. AgroParisTech
10.Arts et Métiers ParisTech (ex ENSAM)

The complete ranking from can be found here. Please note that some of the places in the complete ranking are shared places. The website also offers the possibility to see university rankings (Grand Écoles) based on specializations such as Agriculture, Energy and Automotive Industry.

What are the best universities in Norway?

Norwegian University ranking.

This ranking is based on the QS Top University ranking for Europe. Norway, one of the most expensive countries in Europe, has a relatively small number of inhabitants, with little under 5 milion. For this reason, the number of universities is also limited, with only four high ranking universities in the QS list.

The University of Oslo: The University of Oslo (Norwegian: Universitetet i Oslo, Latin: Universitas Osloensis) is the oldest, largest and most prestigious university in Norway, situated in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. It is considered the only Norwegian world-class research university
The University of Bergen (Universitetet i Bergen) is located in Bergen, Norway. Although founded as late as 1946, academic activity had taken place at Bergen Museum as far back as 1825. The university today serves more than 14,500 students.
The University of Tromsø (Norwegian: Universitetet i Tromsø) is the world's northernmost university.[1] Located in the city of Tromsø, Norway, it was established in 1968, and opened in 1972. It is one of seven universities in Norway. The University of Tromsø is the largest research and educational institution in northern Norway
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, known by its Norwegian acronym NTNU (from Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet), is located in Trondheim. NTNU is the second largest of the seven universities in Norway, and, as its name suggests, has the main national responsibility for higher education in engineering and technology

What they look at:| Peer reviews |

What they came up with:For Norway, the Top 4 looks as follows:
1. University of OSLO (#71 for Europe)
2. University of BERGEN (#97)
3. University of TROMSO (#142)
4. Norwegian University of Science and Technology (#146)

The complete list with European university rankings, incluing the Norwegian universities and their rank, can be found here

Forbes University and College Ranking

We at The Best University decided that it is time again to publish something on a top university ranking that is all about The United States. So today we look at the College Ranking by Forbes. What is interesting about the Forbes University Ranking, with its list of Forbes Top Colleges and Universities, is that they actually have some input in their ranking system from students. Furthermore it is possible to order the complete list on other characteristics of the colleges, such as the number of students in a freshmen’s class (Largest Freshman Class size at 8993 in Miami Dade College at Rank 411) and costs (Most Expensive American College $53110,- for George Washington University at Rank 350).

What did they look at
| Student evaluations 25% | number of former students that became notable people 25% | Average amount of student debt 16,6% | Percentage of students graduation in four years 16,6% | Number of students and faculty that have won prestigious prices |

What they came up with
1. Princeton University
2. California Institute of Technology
3. Harvard University
4. Swarthmore College
5. Williams College
6. United States Military Academy
7. Amherst College
8. Wellesley College
9. Yale University
10. Columbia University

The complete list with the Forbes College and University ranking for the Unites States, with all the 569 College ranks can be found here.

Nigeria University Ranking by the Nigerian National University Commission

Nigeria might be a strange one on The Best University blog, because many international students would not readily consider doing a course in Nigeria. However, The post about South Africa’s Universities is quite popular, so we thought it might be good to look at some other African University Ranking. Nigeria is a very populous country, with about 150 million inhabitants. Because of the income from oil the government has placed Universities in all Nigerian regions. And of course some of them are better than others, so the Nigerian National University Commission has created a university ranking. The ranking dates from 2005, but because it is quite difficult to find, and the only one available, it should be on this blog.
Interestingly is that only publications have been included in the research, and that there apparently is a huge gap between the number one university in Nigeria and the number ten (top ranking institution scores 200 ptn. vs. 30 ptn. for number 10.)

What did they look at
|Publication number of research articles in International Academic Journals | citations in scholarly indexes |

What did they come up with1. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife
2. Federal University of Technology, Akure
3. University of Ibadan
4. University of Lagos
5. University of Agriculture Abeokuta
6. University of Ilorin
7. University of Benin
8. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
9. Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt
10. University of Calabar

To find the complete list of 65 ranked universities, you could try the website of the Commission (warning: availability is erratic)

University Rankings India - What is the Best University of India?

With over 300 Universities and 16000 other institutions including Colleges, and over 380000 students enrolling in only the engineering colleges each year, the Indian tertiary education landscape is one of big numbers. Although many sources claim that the general level of University education in India is not very high, India does house some of the best universities of Asia. But which University of India is the best? To find this out, we will look into the QS Asian University rankings 2009, to see which ones are in India.
What becomes immediately apparent from the India University Top Listing below, is that such a high number of Technological institutes feature on it.

What do they look at
| Research Quality 60% (includes Asia Academic Peer Review, Papers per faculty and Citations per paper) | Teaching Quality 20% | Asian Employer Review 10% | Internationalisation 10% (includes International faculty, International students and inbound & outbound Students)

What did they come up with for India
1. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)
2. Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK)
3. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)
4. Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)
5. University of Delhi
6. Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR)
7. University of Pune
8. University Calcutta
9. University of Mumbai
10. Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKGP)

This list op Top Ten Indian universities was derived from the University ranking Asia 200 list by QS. Al the Top universities from India listed above are between position 30 and 141 of the Asia top 200. The total list can be found here

Japan University ranking by Shanghai Jiao Tong University

The Shanghai Jiao Tong University has a in depth method for ranking universities. Each year in august they publish their ranking list of universities and colleges. Based on their world ranking lists, they also set up ranking overviews for specific parts of the world, including Asia Pacific. In this Asia Pacific list, a high number of Japanese universities are mentioned. The top ranking university in this list is also in Japan, Tokyo University. The list was made in August 2008.
From this Asia Pacific university ranking, I have compiled the top 10 of Japanese universities.

What they look at
| Quality of Education (10%) | Faculty price winning (20%) | Citations (20%) | Articles published in Nature and Science (20%) | Article Indices (20%) | Per capita performance (10%) |

What they came up with for Japan
1. Tokyo University
2. Kyoto University
3. Osaka University
4. Tohoku
5. Kyushu
6. Nagoya University
7. Tokyo Institute of Technology
8. Hokkaido University
9. Tsukuba
10. Hiroshima University

The complete list with University rankings for Asia Pacific, from which this Japan university ranking was compiled, can be found here

Back to The Best University Homepage

The Best University aims at bringing you the latest University Rankings and College rankings from all over the world, so you know which university is the best in your country or specialization. The ranking top 10's displayed on this website are taken from web sources, and we always link to the original source. Although we strive to only provide accurate information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content. Always consult multiple sources before deciding which university is the right one for you.