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Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 

Published annually by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings is globally recognised and one of the go-to ranking providers for quality assessment of institutions all over the world.  

Its ranking methodology is based on 13 calibrated performance indicators, categorised within five areas: Teaching (the learning environment), Research (volume, income and reputation), Citations (research influence), International Outlook (staff, students and research) and Industry Income (knowledge transfer). 

Each indicator contributes a percentage towards an institution’s final score. 

Teaching (30%) 

Reputation survey: 15% 

Staff-to-student ratio: 4.5% 

Doctorate-to-bachelor’s ratio: 2.25% 

Doctorates-awarded-to-academic-staff ratio: 6% 

Institutional income: 2.25% 

This performance indicator studies the perceived prestige of institutions in teaching, gleaned from the Academic Reputation Survey. It provides a sense of how much effort goes into nurturing the next generation of academics, with responses representative of the global academy’s statistical geographical and subject mix. 

Research (30%) 

Reputation survey: 18% 

Research income: 6% 

Research productivity: 6% 

The research metric focuses on an institution’s reputation for research excellence, with responses taken from the Academic Reputation Survey. THE rankings also note that the research income is scaled against academic staff numbers and adjusted for purchasing-power parity (PPP). With regards to quantifying productivity, THE totals the number of publications within the Elsevier’s Scopus database, which provides a sense of the institution’s ability to have published papers in quality peer-reviewed journals. 

Citations (30%) 

This particular indicator measures the role of a university in spreading new knowledge and ideas. THE calculates it by quantifying the number of times an institution’s work is cited by scholars globally. This year, the ranking provider’s bibliometric data supplier Elsevier examined 77.4 million citations to 12.8 million journal articles, article reviews, conference proceedings and books over a span of five years. 

International Outlook (7.5%) 

Proportion of international students: 2.5% 

Proportion of international staff: 2.5% 

International collaboration: 2.5% 

THE’s aim in this indicator is to measure an institution’s ability to attract students and faculty members from all over the world. It quantifies this by calculating the proportion of a university’s total research journal publications that have a minimum of one international co-author. 

Industry Income (2.5%) 

This indicator focuses on capturing the knowledge-transfer capability of a university, especially with its ability to inject respective industries with “innovations, inventions and consultancy”. Such an indicator also provides a sense of an institution’s ability to attract funding from commercial entities - the willingness of businesses to pay for research. 

Below, we’ve compiled the top universities in each destination - Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, the UK and USA. If you’re keen to find out more on what it means to study abroad in any of these countries, fill in your details and make a free appointment with one of our friendly counsellors! 


THE Top 10 Universities in Australia 2021 

RankUniversity Global Rank
1University of Melbourne    31
2University of Sydney  51
3Australian National University    59 
4The University of Queensland   62
5Monash University   64
6UNSW Sydney    67 
7University of Adelaide    118 
8The University of Western Australia  139 
9University of Technology Sydney  160
10University of Canberra  184


THE Top Universities in New Zealand 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
1University of Auckland   147
2University of Otago    201-250 
3Auckland University of Technology   251-300 
4University of Canterbury   401-500 
5Victoria University of Wellington   501-600 

University of Waikato    

7Lincoln University   601-800
8Massey University   601-800


THE Top 10 Universities in Canada 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
1University of Toronto  18 
2University of British Columbia   34
3McGill University   40 
4McMaster University   69 
5University of Montreal  73
6University of Alberta   131 
7University of Ottawa   145
8University of Calgary   200
9University of Waterloo    201-250
10Western University  201-250 


THE Top 10 Universities in the UK 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
1University of Oxford 
2University of Cambridge  6
3Imperial College London   11 
4UCL  16 
5London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)  27 
6University of Edinburgh   30
7King’s College London   35 
8University of Manchester   51
9University of Warwick    77 
10University of Bristol  91


THE Top Universities in Ireland 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
1Trinity College Dublin   155
2RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences   201-250 
3University College Dublin   251-300 
4National University of Ireland, Galway   301-350 
5University College Cork    301-350 
6Maynooth University   401-500 
7Dublin City University   501-600 
8University of Limerick    501-600 
9Technological University Dublin   801-1000 


THE Top 10 Universities in USA 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
 1Stanford University  2 
 2Harvard University   3
 3 California Institute of Technology   4
 4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology   5 
 5 University of California, Berkeley   7
 6 Yale University   8 
 7Princeton University    9
 8The University of Chicago   10 
 9John Hopkins University  12 
 10University of Pennsylvania   13





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