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Universities were graded using five key areas namely Teaching, Research, Citations, Industry income and International outlook.

Times Higher Education (THE) Have released their list of top universities in the world for 2018.

Universities were graded using five key areas namely Teaching, Research, Citations, Industry income and International outlook.

The ranking has been going on for fourteen years and now has the reputation for higher education ranking, based on its methodology that was independently audited by PWC.

Here we looked at the top 20 and their notable alumni

There are 15 Universities from the United States, four from the United Kingdom and one from Switzerland in the top 20.

Top 20 Global Universities

20. Northwestern University

Northwestern University 83.3% overall score made sure it retained the 20th position for the second year running.

The very high scores in academic citations and research of 96.9 and 86.7 respectively are comparable to the rest of the top 20 institutions.


Actor David Schwimmer

Actor and producer David Schwimmer is an alumnus of Northwestern University.


Northwestern University

19. Cornell University

In 19th place is Cornell University, this institution also retained the position for the 2nd year running.

Cornell University has 84.2% overall score with 86.6 and 97.6 in research and citation respectively.

bill maher

Bill Maher

William Maher, the American show host, and political commentator graduated from Cornell University.


Cornell University

18. University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley dropped eight places to rank 18th this year from 10th last year.

The overall score dropped slightly to 84.3% but still retained very high academic citation of 99.8% with 84.5% research activities.


Eric Schmidt

The Billionaire American software engineer and businessman Eric Emerson Schmidt is an alumnus. He is the chairman of Alphabet Inc, the parent company of google and ranked 119th richest in the world with net worth of US$11.1.


University of California, Berkeley

17. Duke University

Duke University improved its ranking from 18th last time to 17th place this time.

Although it has lower academic citations and research compared to even the Universities ranked below it, but the 100% industry income ranking is the highest among all the top 20.

Duke scored 85.1% overall, 80.6% in research and 98.3% in citations.

tim cook

Tim Cook, Apple Inc CEO

Tim Cook, the Apple CEO is an alumnus of Duke University



The British Institution dropped one place from its standing last year to 16th from 15th.

UCL scored 85.3% overall with 88.2% in research and 94.6% in citation.

UCL however, has one of the highest scores in the international outlook criteria. 94%.

Alexander Graham Bell and Mahatma Gandhi are two of its notable alumni.


Chris Martin is the lead singer of Coldplay

The lead singer of the rock band, Chris Martin is also an alumnus of UCL.

University College London

University College, London

15. University of California, Los Angeles.

Ranked 14th last and dropped to 15th this year, University of California, Los Angeles remain one of the best with 85.7% overall score. 88.1% in research and 97.9 in academic citations.



Kareem being awarded by President Obama

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the former American Basketballer who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama was an Alumnus of UCLA.


University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA Campus

14. Columbia University

Columbia University improved its ranking by two places from 16th last year to 14th this year.

Columbia University pooled 86% overall with 98.8% and 8.3% in citations and research respectively.



President Barack Obama

The former 44th President of the United States Barack Obama is an alumnus.


Columbia University during a graduation ceremony

13. Johns Hopkins University

86.5% overall

88.1% in research

98.4% in Citation

John Hopkins was 17th last year, an improvement of 4 places to rank 13th this year

woodrow wilson

Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United State graduated from John Hopkins.


John Hopkins University

12. Yale University

Overall score of 87.6%

87% in Research

98.4 in Citation

Yale was ranked 12th last year and thus retained its place this year.

George H.W Bush and Hilary Clinton are both alumni of Yale University.


Yale University

11. University of Pennsylvania

Overall score of 87.7%

90.1 in Research

98.5 in Citations

Pennsylvania was 13th last year and improved to rank 10th this year.

Pennsylvania has some notable alumni in Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Ivanka Trump


University of Pennsylvania

10. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Overall score of 87.7%, same as University of Pennsylvania

92% in research

94.3% in academic citations

Dropped one place to 10th from 9th position last year

Albert Einstein who developed the theory of relativity and Wilhelm Röntgen who discover electromagnetic radiation are both alumni of ETH.



9. University of Chicago

Overall score of 88.6%

90.1% in research

99.4% in citation

The University of Chicago was ranked 10th last year.

Astronomer Carl Sagan and Nobel Memorial prize winner Milton Friedman are both alumni of University of Chicago


University of Chicago

8. Imperial College London

89.2% overall score

88.7% in research

96.7 in Citations.

Imperial college was ranked 8th last, thus retaining its place this year


Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming, the Scottish pharmacologist, and botanist who was credited with the discovery of antibiotic substance penicillin graduated from Imperial College.

Imperial College.PNG

Imperial College London

7. Princeton University

91.1% overall score

93.9% in research

99.6% in citations.

Princeton retained its 7th position from last year ranking

In addition to Woodrow Wilson, the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the former first lady Michelle Obama are alumni of Princeton.


Princeton University

6. Harvard University

91.8% overall score

98.4 in research

99.7 in citation

Harvard was ranked 6th last year as well.

Harvard has lots of notable alumni in Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Natalie Portman, Mark Zuckerberg and Matt Damon


Oprah Winfrey is also an Alumnus of Harvard

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT has overall score of 92.6%

91.9% in research

100% in citations

MIT was 5th in the last year ranking, thus retaining its place on the table.


Benjamin Netanyahu

The current Prime Minister of Israel is an alumnus of MIT



4. Stanford University

Stanford University was 3rd in last year ranking and now joint 3rd in overall score this year alongside California Institute of Technology with 93%.

96.7% in research

99.9% in citations


Tiger Woods

Like many top Universities, there are lots of notable alumni of Stanford, among them are Tiger Woods, Elon Musk the head of Tesla, Sundar Pichai the head of Google and Chelsea Clinton the former White house first daughter.


Stanford University

3. California Institute of Technology

Caltech was in 2nd place last year but now ranked joint 3rd with Stanford University pooling 93% overall score.

97.5% in research and 99.5% in citation

Francis Arnold

Francis Arnold

Being a technology based institution, Caltech has produced notable scientists, among them is Francis Arnold, an American scientist and engineer who pioneered methods of directed evolution to create useful biological systems, including enzymes, metabolic pathways, genetic regulatory circuits, and organisms.



2. Cambridge University

University of Cambridge was 4th last year but has now improved its standing by two places on the table to 2nd with 93.2% overall score.

97.8% in research and 97.8% in Citation.

stephen hawking

Stephen Hawking

University of Cambridge has some notable alumni that contributed to modern day like Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and Professor Stephen Hawking.


University of Cambridge

1. Oxford University

Oxford ranked number one last year and retained that spot this year with 94.3% overall score.

99.5% in research and 99.1% in citation.

Oxford also scored very high in the international outlook category, with just Imperial college 96.6% and ETH 98.1% surpassing its 95%.

bill clinton

Bill Clinton

As expected, Oxford has some notable alumni such as former US President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as actor Hugh Grant.


Students at University of Oxford



















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