Asian institutions follow in second place to the 221 US schools featured in the global rankings.
Behind Harvard came MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Oxford University in fifth place. Oxford and Cambridge were the only non-US institutions to feature in the global top ten.
“The schools that rank the highest [partner] with international scholars to produce highly cited articles”
Alongside the general rankings, US News also produced region, country and subject specific rankings.
South African institutions dominated the top end of the African grading, with the University of Cape Town being judged the region’s best. Cairo University ensured Egypt featured by securing fifth place.
In Australia and New Zealand, the top five did not include a single New Zealand institution, with the University of Melbourne beating its fellow Group of Eight institutions to the top spot.
In Europe, UK HEI’s were dominant, with London’s Imperial College and UCL joining Oxford and Cambridge in the top ranks. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich was the only university from mainland Europe to make the top of the European scales.
The Asian top five was relatively diverse, with two Chinese universities (Tsinghua and Peking) joining the University of Tokyo and two Singaporean institutions. National University of Singapore beat Nanyang to the number one spot.
In Latin America, the University of Sao Paulo came atop of two other Brazilian institutions, with Pontificia University Católica de Chile in second place, and the University of Buenos Aires representing Argentina in fourth.
The US also dominated the subject specific rankings, with the most ranked institutions of any nation for all but one (materials science) area, for which 78 Chinese institutions made the rankings, compared to 69 US schools.
US News changed its ranking rubric for its 2018 edition by boosting the importance of internationalisation, and rewarding research that crossed borders.
Chief data strategist at US News, Robert Morse, explained how the HEI’s were assessed to produce the rankings.
“The schools that rank the highest in the Best Global Universities rankings are those that emphasise academic research, including by partnering with international scholars to produce highly cited articles,” he said.
The 2018 rankings consist of 1,250 assessed institutions, which are located in 74 nations, signalling an increase in the breadth of the US News rankings. The 2017 study featured only 1,000 HEI’s from 65 nations.