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Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 are the most comprehensive yet. 1,600 universities from 99 countries were assessed and rated. We look at how these institutions fared.

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It’s that time of year again for the top universities to vie for a coveted position on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The 2022 rankings mark an even more extensive evaluation of higher education institutions than 2021, with 1,600 universities from 99 countries included. This year’s rankings have also considered the influence of Covid-19 in the performance and trends within higher education. Let's jump right in and analyse the results.


Which universities made the top 10?


The top ten places were dominated by some of the most well-renowned and famous institutions in the world. The number one spot was a race for the line between the University of Oxford and the California Institute of Technology. In the end, the University of Oxford emerged victorious for the sixth year in a row, while the California Institute of Technology jumped two places from 2021.


The top 10 universities were dominated by institutions from the USA, with eight spots occupied by American universities, many of which are Ivy League members. This reflects the same trend as 2021, which also saw two UK universities make the top 10, both members of the Russell Group. The 2022 rankings top 10 did not feature any new entrants and features the same universities as in 2021.  


However, there was a rise of two spots for Princeton University to 7th and a drop of one spot for the University of California Berkeley. 2022 also sees the University of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology share 5th place. Harvard University enjoyed its highest placing on the rankings since 2016.


The top 10 universities in the world on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 are:


  1. University of Oxford
  2. California Institute of Technology (=2)
  3. Harvard University (=2)
  4. Stanford University
  5. University of Cambridge (=5)
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (=5)
  7. Princeton University
  8. University of California, Berkeley
  9. Yale University
  10. University of Chicago


Which universities ranked in the top 30?


There are some interesting trends in the rankings for 2022. This is the first year that two universities from China have made the top 20, namely Tsinghua University and Peking University. The six institutions from the country in the top 100, and 10 in the top 200, underscores the growth and strength of Chinese universities. There was also a strong showing from universities in Hong Kong, with four institutions in the top 100.


The USA accounted for the greatest number of universities in the top 200, with 57. The UK comes in second with 28 representatives, followed by Germany with 22 institutions. Australia and China are also well established in the top 200 with 12 and 10 universities respectively.


Interestingly Canada saw a slight dip with only seven universities in the top 200, putting the country on par with Switzerland. There was another new entrant into the top 200 with the first Saudi Arabian university, King Abdulaziz University, ranked 190th. Let’s turn our attention to the universities in positions 11 to 30:


11. Columbia University - USA

12. Imperial College London - UK

13. Johns Hopkins University (=13) - USA

14. University of Pennsylvania (=13) - USA

15. ETH Zurich – Switzerland

16. Peking University (=16) – China

17. Tsinghua University (=16) - China

18. University of Toronto (=18) - Canada

19. University College London (=18) - UK

20. University of California, Los Angeles - USA

21. National University of Singapore - Singapore

22. Cornell University - USA

23. Duke University - USA

24. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (=24) - USA

25. Northwestern University (=24) - USA

26. New York University - USA

27. London School of Economics and Political Science - UK

28. Carnegie Mellon University - USA

29. University of Washington - USA

30. University of Edinburgh (=30) - UK

31. University of Hong Kong (=30)


Notable changes in the top 30 rankings include a five-place rise for the National University of Singapore and a three-place drop for Duke University. Columbia University saw a significant move of six places in 2022 rising to number 11, while Peking University rose seven places to number 16.


What methodology was used for the 2022 rankings?


The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 made use of 13 key performance indicators. Further, the analysis of university performance included 14.4 million research publications, 108 million citations and 22,000 surveyed academics across the globe. The 13 performance indicators used are:


  • Teaching (which evaluates the learning environment) 30 per cent
    • Reputation survey (15 per cent)
    • Student to staff ratio (4.5 per cent)
    • Doctorate to bachelor’s student ratio (2.25 per cent)
    • Doctorates awarded to academic staff (6 per cent)
    •  Institutional income (2.25 per cent)
  • Research (30 per cent)
    • Reputation survey (18 per cent)
    • Research income (6 per cent)
    • Research productivity (6 per cent)
  • Citations (influence of research) 30 per cent
  • International Outlook (7.5 per cent)
    • The proportion of international students (2.5 per cent)
    • The proportion of international staff (2.5 per cent)
    • International collaboration (2.5 per cent)
    • Industry income (transfer of knowledge - 2.5 per cent)


2022 did see the impact of research into Covid-19 influencing the rankings. Critical work done into finding vaccines and managing the crisis has seen development for universities at the forefront, including Oxford University (1) and Wuhan University (157). This primarily relates to a steep rise in citation scores for universities producing medical papers related to the virus.


There you have it. Those are the top-ranked universities in the world according to Times Higher Education. If you are interested in furthering your research our articles on the QS World University Rankings 2022 and The Complete University Guide League Tables 2022 are helpful. You may also enjoy reading our take on how to compare universities.


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