Edition 177 - January 2016

Times Higher Education releases ‘most international’ ranking

The latest ranking from Times Higher Education, one of the most authoritative sources of global university league tables, has revealed the world’s 200 most international higher education institutions. Published earlier this month, the ranking draws on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016’s “international outlook” indicator to create a ranking of universities based on the extent to which they are considered to be international. The indicator takes into account the proportion of international students, the share of international staff, and the proportion of internationally co-authored research papers, with each of these metrics accounting for 2.5% of a university’s overall score in the flagship World University Rankings (see ACA Newsletter - Education Europe, Edition October 2015). 

Interestingly, not many of the educational giants who regularly scoop up one of the top 10 positions in the World University Rankings (WUR) are visible in the upper ranks of the most international list, and accolades for internationalisation have instead gone to less prominent institutions. Qatar University (appearing in the 601–800 band in the World University Rankings 2015-2016) topped the list as the most outward-looking university, followed by the University of Luxembourg (193rd in WUR) and the University of Hong Kong (44th in WUR). Only the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (7th in international outlook, 9th in WUR) and the Imperial College London (10th in international outlook, 8th in WUR) display the same strength in international outlook as in overall excellence. Seven countries are represented in the top 10, with Switzerland clearly standing out with four institutions featured. 

Also notable is the absence of US universities in the upper echelons of the ranking. While US universities claimed seven out of the top 10 places in this year’s World University Rankings, in international outlook they largely wallow towards the bottom of the list. The highest ranked of the nine US universities featured is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 90th position – a far cry from its 5th rank in the WUR. In contrast, the UK claims almost a third of the league table with 64 institutions recognised for their international outlook, followed by Australia with 24 institutions and Switzerland with an impressive number of 10 universities. 

A closer look at the proportion of international students reveals the institutions that are the most successful in attracting students from around the world. The United Arab Emirates’ American University of Sharjah has the most international student body (82%), followed by the London School of Economics (70%) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (63%). 

Times Higher Education - full results

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