League table of world universities published: top three from USA

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Academic Ranking of World Universities was published for 2007 by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. This year the top four universities are Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and Cambridge, compared to last year Cambridge has slipped from second to fourth place with the order of the top three U.S. universities unchanged.

The league tables began in 2003 as an effort to measure the gap between Chinese and "World class" universities. In 2007 the highest ranking Chinese University is Tsinghua University at equal 151–202nd place, an improvement from 201–250th place in 2003.

The ranking takes account of factors such as the number of Nobel laureates, highly cited authors and publications in the journals of Nature and Science. Its authors admit that the methodology is skewed towards science over arts and humanities and favours English speaking countries. In the top 19 all are from the U.S. except Oxford and Cambridge from the UK, with Tokyo at 20th the first university from a non-English speaking country.