Cambridge Ranked World’s Number One University Following Largest Ever Survey of Academics and Employers

By Qs Quacquarelli Symonds, PRNE
Saturday, September 3, 2011

LONDON, September 5, 2011 -

  • 8th annual QS World University Rankings® reveals top 300 universities based on six indicators including surveys of over 33,000 global academics and 16,000 graduate employers, the  largest of their kind ever conducted
  • New in 2011:  Results published alongside comparative international tuition fee now live on


  • Global:  University of Cambridge retains number one spot ahead of Harvard, while MIT jumps to third ahead of Yale and Oxford; 38 countries in top 300
  • Government and private funding for technology-focussed research is eroding the dominance of traditional comprehensive universities. The average age of the top 100 institutions has dropped by seven years since 2010, reflecting the emergence of newer specialist institutions particularly in Asia
  • US/Canada: US takes 13 of top 20 and 70 of top 300 places; McGill (17) and Toronto (23) both up, but 14 of 19 Canadian universities rank lower than 2010
  • UK/Ireland: Oxford (5) and Imperial (6) leapfrog UCL (7), as four UK universities make the top 10; TCD (65) and UCD (134) both drop  
  • Continental Europe: ETH Zurich (18) leads ENS Paris (33), EPFL (35) and ParisTech (36); no German university in top 50 despite Excellence Initiative
  • Asia: HKU (22) leads Tokyo (25), NUS (28) and Kyoto (32); India: IITB drops out of top 200; China: Tsinghua (47) joins Peking (46) in top 50
  • Australia: Gap between ANU (26) and Melbourne (31) closes from 18 to five, ahead of Sydney (38); G8 all make top 100
  • Middle East: King Saud University (200) makes top 200 for first time
  • Latin America: USP (169) makes top 200 for first time; five universities in top 300 (Brazil, Chile and Argentina)

Ben Sowter, QS head of research: “The gap between Cambridge and Harvard is very small, but Cambridge’s superior student/faculty ratio helped tip the balance. Individual attention is one of the key attractions of the Oxbridge tutorial system.”

Nunzio Quacquarelli, QS managing director: “Since students are generally being charged more than ever before for their education, QS is publishing for the first time ever comparative course fees of ranked universities. QS is also unique in taking into account the views of graduate employers as a key indicator of universities’ excellence and reputation. Graduates employability is an essential mission of world-class universities and QS rankings includes the informed opinion of global recruiters.”


For information, contact: Simona Bizzozero, simona at +44(0)7880-620-856; Vickie Chiu, vickie at +44(0)2072847292

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