It’s here. Nearly 1,000 universities from 84 countries around the world are included in the QS World University Rankings® 2018, providing you with the only resource you need to refer to when deciding which universities to apply to. If you really want to be among the best of the best, these are the ten universities you should attend.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

It’s six years in a row at the top for MIT, with the US university continuing to show everyone else how its done. At the heart of its incredible record in our rankings is an extremely strong reputation among both fellow academics and employers, as well as the fact MIT is responsible for an impressive number of academic citations per faculty.

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2. Stanford University

There’s no change at number two either, with the Silicon Valley-based Stanford University continuing to hold off the challenge from Harvard. Stanford goes toe-to-toe with MIT in multiple of the indicators used to compile the rankings (more details are available here), but loses ground because of the university’s low international student ratio.
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3. Harvard University

Having been second two years ago, Harvard is now cemented in third place in the rankings. The US university can at least take comfort from the fact it’s ranked best in the world for its reputation among academics surveyed for this ranking, a title it retains from previous years.

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4. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Our first mover and shaker in the top 10 is Caltech, which rises one place from last year. At the heart of this improvement is a particularly good student to faculty ratio and an impressive number of citations produced per faculty.

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5. University of Cambridge

Finally! After a clean sweep for the US in the top four, we eventually reach a university from another country. Cambridge was fourth last year so won’t be entirely happy with their slip down the ladder. It’s not all bad news though: the UK university is ranked best in the world for employer reputation and can at least enjoy bragging rights over a certain rival. Speaking of which…

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6. University of Oxford

Still in sixth and still behind their arch-rivals Cambridge, the University of Oxford still has some ground to make up if they want to be the best in Britain. It does out-perform Cambridge in its ratio of international students and international faculty though, so maybe they can brag about that for the next year?

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7. UCL (University College London)

Three UK universities in a row and it’s another non-mover from last year, suggesting fears British universities would suffer because of Brexit may have been overblown (for now). UCL has one of the most internationally diverse student bodies in the world.

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8. Imperial College London

Climbing up the rankings one place is another London university, Imperial. The university is particularly well-regarded for its scientific and technical teaching, as well as its business school.

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 9. University of Chicago
It’s back to the US for ninth-placed University of Chicago, an improvement of one place from last year’s ranking. The university enjoys a particularly strong score for its reputation among academics.

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10. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

The UK-US duopoly is finally broken by the Swiss, and 10th-placed ETH Zurich. The university has fallen two places since last year and is let down by a poor student to faculty ratio, but out-performs at least one of the universities above it in every other category.

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