Three of the Best Universities in the World
Obviously, ranking educational institutions accurately in a quantitative fashion is a difficult (read often impossible) task. Each place can excel in different educational areas and can have various attractions that potential students have to bear in mind – such as lower fees, local nightlife and social considerations or employment opportunities in the local area post-graduation.
However, there are certain academic institutions that are always found in the top lists. Whether because of their educational excellence, prestigiousness of reputation, strength of facilities or something else entirely – these four universities are perennially in the top four or five of almost any list you’ll find online. For the sake of fairness, we dropped the UK’s University of Cambridge from our list as otherwise it would have exclusively been US or British institutions.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Funnily enough, this prestigious university is also based out of Cambridge – but the one in Massachusetts, USA, and not sleepy Cambridgeshire. Since its foundation in 1961, MIT, as it is consistently known by students and former alumni, has produced 96 Nobel Laureates, 41 astronauts and 50 McArthur fellows, amongst other high achieving leavers. If you were to assemble the yearly operating revenues of all the companies founded by MIT graduates, it would total nearly $2 trillion a year – making it one of the world’s largest economies. As suggested by its name, MIT focuses mainly on the sciences, mathematics and engineering courses. Research conducted here has been instrumental in the development of many technologies we take for granted in the modern world.
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford, in Oxford, UK, is the world’s oldest continuously open English-speaking university, having been founded 1096. Globally, it is only beaten in age by The University of Karueein in Fez, Morocco (859 AD) and the University of Bologna in Italy which was founded just eight years before in 1088. Consisting of 39 individual colleges, each governed by themselves with their own traditions and rules, the University of Oxford has no single campus – instead the Uni buildings are found throughout Oxford city centre. Over the years the University here has educated 72 Nobel Laureates, 28 future Prime Ministers of the UK and over 100 Olympic medal winners.
Along with Cambridge, which was founded after a group of academics split from Oxford in 1209, this University is incredibly highly regarded around the world – and often the two are paired together as ‘Oxbridge’ in the media or by prospective students. They also compete against each other in a rowing boat race along the River Thames every year, in an event known to attract massive upper-class audiences in the UK.
University of Paris (Sorbonne)
Known for its grand 16th century baroque architecture and excellence in the fields of science, law and the humanities – Paris Sorbonne University is one of the foremost such research universities in Europe. Of course, we could have included Stanford, Yale or Harvard here, but we thought we’d be fair and diversify the field slightly. Although not always in the top five of university league tables, Sorbonne is a perennial fixture in any top 10 and will always come into discussion. 32 Nobel Laureates have previously studied here, and other graduates include the world-famous Marie Curie, discoverer of Radium, and the influential feminist philosopher Simone De Beauvoir.