U.S. News & World Report released its 2016 Best Global Universities rankings Tuesday, and the United States again dominated. About 180 American institutions made the list of 750 schools analyzed by the media company famous for its best colleges lists. Harvard University was named the best university in the world, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University and Britain's University of Oxford.
American schools performed the best in every subject ranking, including arts, medicine, computer science, business and engineering, according to a news release. Only five schools out of the top 20 were from countries other than the U.S. The top 10 was unchanged from 2014, except for the last two schools, which switched places.
But China and Britain did improve their stature from last year's rankings, if only because U.S. News & World Report included 250 more schools this time around. Last year, 42 of the top 500 were in Germany, followed by Britain with 38 and China at 27. This time around, China took second place with 57 universities in the top 750. Britain had 55 and Germany had 50.
To calculate the rankings, researchers looked at factors such as global and regional research reputation, books, conferences, citations, international collaboration and the number of doctorates awarded.
“We have designed the rankings to be a starting point to help students and their families identify institutions that speak to their specific needs, whether they are planning on staying close to home or traveling abroad for college -- or whether they are seeking a specific academic degree,” chief data strategist Robert Morse said in the news release.
As with all rankings, the list probably should be taken with a grain of salt. Comparing diverse schools on various continents is notoriously tricky and an imperfect science. Lists don't always match up. For example, the recently released Times Higher Education world university rankings found the California Institute of Technology was the best school, followed by Oxford. It included the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich at No. 9 and UC Berkeley at No. 13.
Here is U.S. News & World Report's top 10:
Best Global Universities Overall
1. Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts
3. University of California, Berkeley, in Berkeley, California
4. Stanford University, in Stanford, California
5. University of Oxford, in Oxford, England
6. University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, England
7. California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, California
8. University of California, Los Angeles, in Los Angeles
9. Columbia University, in New York City
10. University of Chicago, in Chicago