Technology-based and US universities move up the global rankings

According to this year’s Times Higher Education QS 2008 listing of Top Universities, technology-based institutions such as Caltech, MIT, ETH Zurich and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology all improved their position in the table.

Cambridge and Oxford traditionally comprehensive universities slipped in their rankings behind Harvard and Yale, and, University College London rose to seventh from ninth position last year while Imperial College London fell from fifth to sixth place.

Rankings watchers note that 13 of the top 100 universities are strong on technology and such universities scored well with employers. And new entrants in the top 200 include: Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University (USA), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD), VU University Amsterdam (Netherlands), University of Lausanne (Switzerland), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), Universität Frankfurt am Main (Germany), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia), Brandeis University (USA), Pohang University of Science and Technology (South Korea), Technische Universität Berlin (Germany), University of Bern (Switzerland), Dalhousie University (Canada), University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and University of Athens (Greece).

Ben Sowter, from QS, is quoted by BBC News as saying there is a “reasonably strong trend” of technology-based institutions moving up the world rankings” and that “people with strong numerical and problem-solving skills seem to be appreciated by employers.”

According to a study cited by a Telegraph article, a third of the students with science & technology degrees from elite UK universities earned double the income earned by graduates of other universities. Graduates of top elite UK universities were on the whole more likely to earn much higher salaries compared to 27% of graduates of other universities…due to the “earnings premium” attached to the elite British universities. One in 20 of these elite university graduates would earn five times the salary rates elsewhere.

Overall, the Times QS rankings show the dominance of US and UK universities. However, whilst North America dominates with 42 universities, Europe and Asia Pacific are also strongly represented with 36 and 22 respectively.

Top universities
California Instit. of Technology
Imperial College London
University College London
University of Chicago
Massachusetts Instit. of Technology
Columbia University


US and UK universities ‘dominant’ Thursday, 9 October 2008 BBC News
The Complete Rankings: Top 100 universities by Times Higher Education – QS World University Rankings

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