Top Universities in world ranking 2008

What are the Top Universities in the world by international university rankings in 2008?

Here we will look at the three very popular and well-known international league tables published by the foloowing university guides in 2008:

(1)Times higher education supplement (THES) - the ranking is mainly based on Peer Review (Weighting - 40%): 6354 leading scholars evaluate universities in specific research areas.

Top 10 Universities in the world are:
1 HARVARD University
2 YALE University
3 University of CAMBRIDGE United Kingdom
4 University of OXFORD United Kingdom
5 CALIFORNIA Institute of Technology
6 IMPERIAL College London United Kingdom
7 UCL (University College London) United Kingdom
8 University of CHICAGO
9 MASSACHUSETTS Institute of Technology
10 COLUMBIA University

(2)Webometrics - take into account the two web indicators: (i) volume of the Web contents and (ii) visibility and impact of web publications according to the number of external inlinks received.

Top 10 list:
1 MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
2 STANFORD UNI
3 HARVARD UNI
4 PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNI
5 U OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY
6 U OF MICHIGAN
7 U OF WISCONSIN MADISON
8 U OF MINNESOTA
9 U OF ILLINOIS URBANA CHAMPAIGN
10 CORNELL UNI

** The top 10 list is dominated by all US institutions.

(3) Academic ranking of world universities (ARWU) - focus on academic or research performance - take into account both the staff and alumni winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals.

The Top 10 are:
1 Harvard Univ
2 Stanford Univ
3 Univ California - Berkeley
4 Univ Cambridge
5 Massachusetts Inst Tech (MIT)
6 California Inst Tech
7 Columbia Univ
8 Princeton Univ
9 Univ Chicago
10 Univ Oxford

Which league table is the best indicator of world class status of an institution?

From the above tables we can see that:
- Harvard is among the Top 3 Universities, ranked 1st in both THES and ARWU.
- Yale is the 2nd best according to THES but it is not even in the Top 10 in the other two league tables.
- Oxbridge are among the world's top ten but it is not highly ranked in the Webometrics which focuses heavily on web publication performance.
- US institutions are top in web publications and research performance while UK universities fare well in Peer Reviews.