People who love travel and adventure are often excited by the possibility of earning an academic degree at a college or university far away from their home country. A growing share of the world’s undergraduate…
People who love travel and adventure are often excited by the possibility of earning an academic degree at a college or university far away from their home country. A growing share of the world’s undergraduate and graduate students are opting to attend schools that are thousands of miles away from home.
Between 1999 and 2016, the number of international students who enrolled at higher education institutions worldwide increased rapidly, rising from 2 million to 5 million, according to a report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in September.
Higher education experts say students should understand both the potential benefits of earning a degree overseas, such as strengthened foreign language skills, and the possible downsides, such as travel costs. Prospective students can find guidance about which international schools are world-renowned by examining the fifth edition of the U.S. News Best Global Universities rankings, released today.
The overall ranking includes 1,250 schools spread across 75 countries. U.S. News also offers rankings specific to particular countries, geographic regions and academic disciplines.
The 2019 Best Global Universities rankings are based on data and metrics provided by Clarivate Analytics InCites. The methodology differs from that used to calculate other U.S. News rankings, such as Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools, in that the Best Global Universities rankings are entirely based on schools’ academic research performance, such as highly cited papers, and global and regional research reputations. These are not ratings of specific undergraduate or graduate programs.
U.S. schools dominate the overall Best Global Universities ranking, claiming eight of the top 10 spots, with the remaining two taken by famed schools in the United Kingdom: the University of Oxford at No. 5 and the University of Cambridge at No. 7.
The U.S. has more universities that qualified for the overall ranking than any other nation: 227. China has the second-highest number of institutions, at 130, and the U.K. has the third largest contingent, at 78.
Aspiring international students can also consult the 42 country and five regional rankings to compare school options in specific areas of the world. These rankings are based entirely on how each school within that geographic region performed in the overall Best Global Universities ranking.
Prospective students who are interested in a specific field, such as computer science, can refer to the relevant subject ranking; in total, schools are evaluated in 22 subjects. The Best Global Universities subject ranking methodology is different from the overall ranking methodology, since the former focuses on a school’s research strength within a particular field. Keep in mind the subject rankings do not evaluate academic majors, departments or a specific school at a university, such as a business or medical school.
In nearly every subject ranking, the U.S. has the highest proportion of ranked institutions. There’s just one exception: In the materials science ranking, China claims the biggest share of schools at 20.3 percent, which is a half-percentage point higher than the share the U.S. has.
There are a few universities that have the unique distinction of placing highest in multiple Best Global Universities subject rankings, demonstrating the breadth of their research excellence. These institutions include Harvard, which is the highest-rated school in 10 of the 22 subject rankings, and the following three schools, each of which is rated No. 1 for two subjects: Tsinghua University in China, Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands and the University of California–Berkeley in the U.S.