Lists and Curiosities

Best universities to study worldwide in 2022

For the average student of 17-18 years old, choosing which university to study is probably the first big decision in an individual's life.


Every year, the Times Higher Education portal, or simply “THE”, conducts a survey of universities around the world to draw up the annual ranking of the best institutions. In this portal, the student will find information to decide his future.

He can compare what each university has to offer and what the difference between each one them is. And for the universities, it is a channel to research best practices and seek excellence in their teaching, management, and research methodologies. But mainly, to provide data for managers to develop strategies for their planning.

For the average student of 17-18 years old, choosing which university to study in the next few years of his life can be complex. Likewise, deciding which course to take can be stressful and keep many young people awake at night. It is probably the first big decision in an individual’s life.

And for that, the portal THE seeks to subsidize its more than 14 million visitors with reliable information and guidance to help in this important decision in the lives of young people.

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For this year’s ranking, 2022, THE portal checked more than 1,600 universities across 99 countries and territories, making them the largest and most diverse university rankings to date.

The table is based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook.

So let’s bring up the best institutions in the 2022 ranking by THE portal:

University of Oxford

Number 1 for the sixth year in a row is the University of Oxford, located in the United Kingdom. It is the oldest English-speaking university and the second oldest in the world of those that are still functioning.

This institution has produced prodigious students who have received numerous Nobel prizes, Olympic medalists, prime ministers of England, poets, and world leaders. In other words, the quality of this university has been recognized for a long time.

As for the courses offered, they cover the most diverse areas. Among them are Physical sciences, Arts & Humanities, Clinical, pre-clinical & health, Psychology, Life sciences, Social sciences, Business & Economics, Law, Engineering & Technology, Education, and Computer science.

California Institute of Technology

Located in the United States, known by the name Caltech, it has six academic divisions with a strong emphasis in science and technology teaching and research. The university has a competitive admissions process ensuring that only a small number of the most gifted students are admitted.

Harvard University

One of the world’s most famous institutions is the oldest in the United States. The numbers are grandiose: more than 45 Nobel Prize winners have studied there, over 30 heads of state and 48 Pulitzer prizewinners.

Its Campus, located in the state of Massachusetts, has 12 degree-granting schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, two theatres, and five museums.

It is also home to the largest academic library in the world, with 20.4 million volumes, 180,000 serial titles, an estimated 400 million manuscript items, 10 million photographs, 124 million archived web pages, and 5.4 terabytes of born-digital archives and manuscripts.

Stanford University

Located in the state of California, the United States is in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, and the university is known for its entrepreneurial spirit. By 1970, the university had a linear accelerator and hosted part of the early network that would become the technical foundation of the internet.

Stanford counts 21 Nobel laureates within its community, and numerous famous alumni associated with the university from the worlds of business, politics, media, sport, and technology. The alumni include 30 living billionaires, 17 astronauts, 18 Turing Award recipients, and two Fields Medallists.

University of Cambridge

This institution is located in the United Kingdom and is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. Six schools are spread across the university’s colleges, housing roughly 150 faculties and other institutions.

The six schools are Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Physical Sciences and Technology. The university is home to over 100 libraries, which, between them, hold more than 15 million books in total.

In the main Cambridge University library alone, which is a legal depository, there are eight million holdings. The university also owns nine arts, scientific and cultural museums that are open to the public throughout the year, as well as a botanical garden.

In total, 92 affiliates of the university have been awarded Nobel Prizes, covering every category.

Here we list only the top 5, but the student can find much more information about these and the other ranked institutions on THE portal. However, the student should not rely solely on the numbers and the position of the institution in the ranking, as the numbers do not cover everything that each university actually is.

The student must visit each institution to check its unique characteristics up close and thus choose what is most important for his future education.

About the author  /  Marcelo Lopes


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