For the tenth year in a row, Harvard retained its top place in the 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) from the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
But the UK lost its second place behind the US for the number of universities in the Top 500 to China – if universities in Hong Kong and Taiwan are included.
Five Chinese universities appeared for the first time, giving China, Hong Kong and Taiwan an aggregate of 42 universities in the Top 500, ahead of the UK with 38 universities. However, no Chinese university is ranked among the Top 100.
More than 1,200 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 are published.
Largely because of the ARWU’s methodology, the ranking displays a high degree of stability at the top. The Top 10 universities remain unchanged from 2011: Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Cambridge, Caltech, Princeton, Columbia, Chicago and Oxford.
Lower down the rankings, the University of Tokyo returns to the Top 20 in 20th place, as the leading Asian university.
ETH Zurich (23) is the leading university in continental Europe, followed by Paris-Sud (37) and Pierre and Marie Curie (42) in France.
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (78) and the Weizmann Institute of Science (93) enter the Top 100 for the first time, to join the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (53).
The University of Western Australia appears (96) in the Top 100 for the first time, bringing the number of Top 100 universities in Australia to five.
With the exception of Cambridge and ETH Zurich, US universities dominate the ARWU listings of best five universities in each ranked field and subject.
The annual global ranking claims to be the most trustworthy of the international league tables. ARWU uses six objective indicators, including the number of alumni and staff with Nobel prizes and Fields medals, and a web of citation data.
ARWU has been presenting the top 500 universities annually since 2003, based on a set of objective indicators and third-party data.
Complete lists and detailed methodologies can be found on the Academic Ranking of World Universities website.
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