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Top Universities in the World 2019

Top Universities in the World 2019 main image

Click here to discover the top universities in the world in 2020. 

The QS World University Rankings® 2019 is out now, showcasing 1,000 of the world’s best universities in 85 countries, based on a methodology which assesses each university on six metrics, including its reputation among academics and employers.

Read on as we count down to discover this year’s top 10 or watch the video below.

10. UCL (University College London)

Down three spots but nonetheless included among the 10 best universities in the world, the UK’s UCL earns its best score in the academic reputation indicator, and also achieves a strong score for its proportion of international students, making it a diverse place to study.

9. University of Chicago

University of Chicago

The US’ University of Chicago retains its position of ninth in the world in 2019, with a particularly high score for its reputation among academics.

8. Imperial College London

Imperial College London

Imperial is ranked eighth in the world this year and is now London’s highest-ranked university. Like UCL, it boasts an excellent score for the international students indicator, meaning you’ll be in good company if you study at either university as an international student.

7. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

ETH Zurich

Switzerland’s ETH Zurich is the highest-ranked university in continental Europe and climbed three places in this year’s ranking, with its best score for citations per faculty member, a measure of research impact.

6. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge slips one place in this year’s ranking but does achieve higher scores than rival Oxford for its reputations among academics and employers, ranked second in the world for both after Harvard.

5. University of Oxford


The 2019 results see Oxford overtake Cambridge in our list of the world's best universities, climbing one place to rank fifth in the world and first out of the UK’s 76 entries, with top-10 scores for its academic and employer reputations as well as its faculty/student ratio.

4. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

The smallest university in the top 10, Caltech retains its position of fourth in the world this year. Students benefit from an excellent student/faculty ratio, and Caltech also beats rival MIT in the citations per faculty member indicator, for which it’s ranked fifth in the world.

3. Harvard University

Harvard University

Harvard continues to rank third in the world as of the 2019 results but remains first in the world for both employer and academic reputation.

2. Stanford University

Also retaining its position from last year is Stanford, which achieves its best scores for its reputation among academics and employers (fifth for both).

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

And finally, MIT appears to be unbeatable as the world’s highest-ranked university, holding on to the top spot for a record seventh year in a row this year. MIT also gets its highest scores for its reputations with academics and employers, at third and fourth respectively.

Best universities in the world by location

Looking beyond the UK, US and Switzerland, see below to find out the top university in each of the other 82 countries included in the ranking.

Argentina: Universidad de Buenos Aires – ranked 73rd in the world

Australia: Australian National University (ANU) – ranked 24th

Austria: Universität Wien (University of Vienna) – ranked joint 175th

Azerbaijan: Baku State University – ranked 801-1000

Bahrain: University of Bahrain – ranked 801-1000

Bangladesh: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and the University of Dhaka – both ranked 801-1000

Belarus: Belarus State University – ranked 354th

Belgium: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven – ranked 81st

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo School of Science and Technology – ranked 571-580

Brazil: Universidade de São Paulo (USP) – ranked 118th

Brunei Darussalam: University of Brunei Darussalam – ranked joint 323rd

Bulgaria: Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” – ranked 801-1000

Canada: University of Toronto – ranked 28th

Chile: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile – ranked joint 132nd

China: Tsinghua University – ranked 17th

Colombia: Universidad de Los Andes Colombia – ranked joint 272nd

Costa Rica: Universidad de Costa Rica – ranked 501-510

Croatia: University of Zagreb – ranked 801-1000

Cuba: Universidad de la Habana – ranked 511-520

Czech Republic: Charles University – ranked joint 317th

Denmark: University of Copenhagen – ranked joint 79th

Ecuador: Universidad de San Francisco de Quito – ranked 701-750

Egypt: American University in Cairo – ranked joint 420th

Estonia: University of Tartu – ranked joint 321st

Finland: University of Helsinki – ranked 110th

France: Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University (PSL) – ranked 50th

Germany: Technische Universität München – ranked 61st

Greece: National Technical University of Athens – ranked joint 446th

Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong (HKU) – ranked 25th

Hungary: University of Szeged – ranked joint 470th

India: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) – ranked 162nd

Indonesia: University of Indonesia – ranked joint 292nd

Iran: Sharif University of Technology – ranked 432nd

Iraq: University of Baghdad – ranked 651-700

Israel: Hebrew University of Jerusalem – ranked 154th

Italy: Politecnico di Milano – ranked joint 156th

Japan: University of Tokyo – ranked 23rd

Jordan: University of Jordan – ranked 601-650

Kazakhstan: Al-Farabi Kazakh National University – ranked 220th

Kenya: University of Nairobi – ranked 801-1000

Kuwait: Kuwait University – ranked 801-1000

Latvia: Riga Technical University – ranked 751-800

Lebanon: American University of Beirut (AUB) – ranked joint 237th

Lithuania: Vilnius University – ranked 488th

Macao, S.A.R., China: University of Macau – ranked joint 443rd

Malaysia: Universiti Malaya (UM) – ranked joint 87th

Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) – ranked 113th

Morocco: Al Akhawayn University Ifrane – ranked 801-1000

Netherlands: Delft University of Technology – ranked 52nd

New Zealand: University of Auckland – ranked 85th

Norway: University of Oslo – ranked 135th

Oman: Sultan Qaboos University – ranked joint 450th

Pakistan: Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) – ranked joint 397th

Palestine: Birzeit University – ranked 801-1000

Peru: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú – ranked 551-560

Philippines: University of the Philippines – ranked joint 384th

Poland: University of Warsaw – ranked joint 394th

Portugal: University of Porto – ranked 328th

Puerto Rico: Universidad de Puerto Rico – ranked 801-1000

Qatar: Qatar University – ranked joint 332nd

Republic of Ireland: Trinity College Dublin (TCD) – ranked joint 104th

Romania: Has five universities all ranked 801-1000, including Alexandru Ioan Cuza University

Russia: Lomonosov Moscow State University – ranked 90th

Saudi Arabia: King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) – ranked 189th

Serbia: University of Belgrade – ranked 801-1000

Singapore: National University of Singapore (NUS) – ranked 11th

Slovakia: Comenius University in Bratislava and Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava – both ranked 751-800

Slovenia: University of Ljubljana – ranked 651-700

South Africa: University of Cape Town – ranked joint 200th

South Korea: Seoul National University (SNU) – ranked 36th

Spain: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid – ranked 159th

Sri Lanka: University of Colombo – ranked 801-1000

Sweden: Lund University – ranked 92nd

Taiwan: National Taiwan University (NTU) – ranked 72nd

Thailand: Culalongkorn University – ranked 271st

Turkey: Koç University – ranked joint 448th

Ukraine: V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University – ranked joint 481st

United Arab Emirates: Khalifa University– ranked 315th

Uruguay: Universidad de Montevideo – ranked 531-540

Venezuela: Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) – ranked 751-800

Vietnam: Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCM) – ranked 701-750

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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Hi there. I would like to know the odds of getting into Stanford/Oxford/John Hopkins medical schools if I have a Bachelors degree in Pharmacy.

I want to Apply to university in France..
I'm international student

Hi Okonkwo, please read our guide on How to Study Abroad in France for general information about applying to universities in France. If you have a specific subject in mind, you may find our latest World Univeristy Rankings by Subject helpful - just select your subject of choice from the dropdown menu at the top, and then narrow down your results by selecting France from the 'By location' dropdown menu on the table. Hope this helps, all the best. 

How it is possible to apply to MIT and what are their entry requirements?

Hello Sunil. Of course, this will depend on the course you choose to apply for, so please do check with MIT's official website for information on that. Additionally, you could read our complete guide on how to study abroad in the US for more general advice on applying to US universities  - hope this helps. 

Hi, I would like to pursue a masters degree in Publishing. Which are the best colleges/unis for this program?

Hi Harshita, please refer to our latest edition of the World University Rankings by Subject - you'll be able to find the best universities for publishing in Communication & Media Studies, I've linked the rankings table for this subject here

Hi. I want to learn MBBS in Germany so I want information about admission

Hi Pradeep, here's a link to our article on studying medicine in Germany

hello I'm luis diaz from Venezuela. I'm a physicist with experience in radiological protection I want to do a master's degree in data science in Canada or USA, through a scholarship, I could support myself in this endeavor?

Hi Luis, you certainly could, although full scholarships can be hard to find and highly competitive. Here are links to our lists of scholarships to study in the US and scholarships to study in Canada.

Hi, I am from Donghua University, Shanghai, China. Would you please tell me why Donghua University is not listed in the QS world university ranking? Although in other rankings we find this university in between 500 to 700.
Waiting for your reply. Thank you.

Hi Sohag, Donghua University may be missing from our rankings for not placing high enough in our indicators (such as citations per faculty). It is still featured in the QS Asia University Rankings, however (at 224th).


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Hello, you can find scholarships to study business here

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Thank you so much

Hi Shahnaz, these links can help you out: