The new edition of
the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings 2008 indicates an
increasing acceptance of the importance of these rankings by the international
higher education community and those that employ graduates from the top
universities in the world.


The THE-QS World
University Rankings 2008 have received response levels from both the
international academic community and employers. 
6,354 academics (compared with 5,101 in 2007) and 2,339 employers
(compared with 1,482 in 2007) responded to the surveys, eager to reflect the
position and influence of the world’s leading universities. 


Now in its fifth
year, the research is conducted and compiled by QS Quacquarelli Symonds and
features in print in Times Higher Education on 9th October and online on the QS
web site
on 10th October.


This latest edition
of the THE-QS World University Rankings also reflects the increasing profile of
technology-based universities, with many of the world’s top universities in
this area such as Caltech, MIT, ETH Zurich and Hong Kong University of Science
and Technology improving their position. 
As demand by international employers for more technology-literate
graduates has grown, the importance of these universities has risen in the


Other highlights

  Top 10: the UK and USA continue to dominate
- Harvard University remains as the top university, with Yale moving ahead of
Cambridge for the second spot.  Oxford
drops to fourth, while Princeton drops out of the top ten, replaced by the only
new entrant in the Top 10, Columbia University.


  Top 50: 13 countries feature in the top 50
compared to 12 in 2007 (see table below). New entrants include Hong Kong
University of Science and Technology, University of Copenhagen, Trinity College
Dublin, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Seoul National University.


  Top 100: the top 100 sees the number of
Asian universities remain at 13 for the second year in a row, but the number of
North American universities has dropped to 42 (43 in 2007).  European universities increase to 36 (35 in
2007). New entrants in the Top 100 include: Washington University in St. Louis,
University of Geneva, University of Aarhus, University of Minnesota, Lund
University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of
Science & Technology, University of Virginia, University of California,
Santa Barbara.


  Top 200: universities from 33 different
countries (28 countries in 2007) are represented in the top 200. New entrants
in the Top 200 include: Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Stony Brook
University (USA), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD), VU University
Amsterdam, University of Lausanne (Switzerland), Chulalongkorn University
(Thailand), Universität Frankfurt am Main, Indian Institute of Technology
Bombay (IITB), Lomonosov Moscow State University , Brandeis University (USA),
Pohang University of Science and Technology (Korea), Technische Universität
Berlin, University of Bern, Dalhousie University (Canada), University of Buenos
Aires, University of Athens.


Ann Mroz, editor of
THE, says: “These rankings use an unprecedented amount of data to deliver the
most accurate measure available of the world’s best universities, and of the
strength of different nations’ university systems. They are important for governments
wanting to gauge the progress of their education systems, and are used in
planning by universities across the world.”


Nunzio Quacquarelli,
Managing Director of QS and co-editor of the Top Universities Guide says, “In
just five years, the THE-QS World University Rankings have become the primary
benchmark for comparing universities across borders – recognized for their accuracy
and insight.  The rankings allow
prospective students, parents, academics, employers and journalists to gain an
insight into international university education, helping them to make the right
choices, whether it is in selecting a university for study or for partnership.”


Quacquarelli adds,
“Rankings are contentious and QS has always argued that they should be used
with caution, understanding that they cannot reflect all aspects of university
excellence. The criteria upon which we rank universities reflect our mission to
identify the world’s best universities in terms of research, employability,
international profile and teaching quality. But we recognize that everyone is
different and we encourage people to look at the data for over 1,000
universities covered in our research and to create their own personalized