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University rankings can focus on many different factors, including attractiveness of campus, satisfaction of students and alums, extracurricular benefits (such as top athletics programs), affordability of tuition, and expected income of graduates.But if the focus is on academic prestige, scholarly excellence, and intellectual horsepower, this article provides the ranking you want.Munich, Germany, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, tied for fourth, housing two universities each from our list.Top Universities Offering Online Programs: Some of the best Universities in the world offer distance learning, including many on this list.The country that you’ll find overwhelmingly represented is the United States.Indeed, over half of the world’s hundred best universities (52 to be exact) are in the U. As you scan this list, you’ll notice some interesting patterns.It has an integrated alumni network that stretches around the globe.It would be invidious to single out any of Harvard’s many academic departments for its excellence, for the school’s principal claim on the #1 position lies in the fact that it is at or very near the top in nearly every field across the entire spectrum of the sciences and the humanities!
It boasts the largest academic library in the world (Widener Library, home to some 6 million volumes), as well as leading medical, law, and business schools.
At the universities in this ranking, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the brightest faculty and students in the world, developing your knowledge and skills so that you yourself will be in a position to join the world’s elite academics, scientists, and thinkers.
For this ranking, we looked to the Center for World-Class Universities operated by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (left).
This center specializes in ranking universities around the world by academic performance.
Accordingly, we identified the 100 best universities in the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, better known as the “Shanghai Ranking.” Taking the Shanghai Ranking as our point of departure, we researched the most important characteristics of each of the top 100 universities on the list in order to reveal each university appears where it does.