U.S. News & World Report's World's Best Universities rankings are based on the QS World University Rankings.
U.S. News & World Report is proud to publish its fifth annual version of the World's Best Universities rankings.
These new 2012 rankings are based on data from the QS World University Rankings, which were produced in association with QS Quacquarelli Symonds. QS, one of the world's leading networks for careers and education, has been publishing international rankings since 2004.
These rankings have obtained increasing influence among academics worldwide and have a growing effect on prospective students and government policymakers. The rankings themselves are the same as QS publishes on its website.
In addition, there are global rankings in the following 25 subject areas, including a new ranking this year in communication and media studies:
• Arts and humanities: English language and literature; geography and area studies; history; linguistics; modern languages; and philosophy
• Engineering and technology: chemical engineering; civil engineering; computer science; electrical engineering; and mechanical, aeronautical, and manufacturing engineering
• Life sciences: biological sciences; psychology
• Natural sciences: chemistry; earth and marine sciences; environmental sciences; mathematics; metallurgy and materials; and physics and astronomy
• Social sciences: accounting and finance; communication and media studies; economics and econometrics; politics and international studies; sociology; and statistics and operational research
[See the methodologies used in the World's Best rankings.]
The 2012 U.S. News World's Best Universities rankings enable our readers to more fully understand how American institutions are performing when compared with other institutions of higher learning. The bottom line is that U.S.-based universities perform very well: Eighty-three of the top 400 universities worldwide, or 21 percent, are in the United States.
The United Kingdom comes in second place with 45 universities, or 11 percent of the worldwide total. Germany was third with 35 universities, or 9 percent; Australia was fourth with 22 universities, or 6 percent; and France was fifth with 19 schools, or 5 percent.
Canada and Japan were tied at sixth place with 16 universities, or 4 percent each; Netherlands finished eighth with 12 universities, or 3 percent; South Korea was in ninth place with 11 schools, or 3 percent; and China came in at 10th place with 9 schools, at 2 percent.
These top 10 countries accounted for 67 percent of the top 400, or 268 schools. In total, there are schools from 45 different countries represented in the top 400. The other 35 countries accounted for 33 percent of the total number of universities, or 132 schools.
The world is rapidly changing. More students and faculty are eager to explore the higher education options that exist outside their countries. Universities worldwide are competing for the best and brightest students, the most highly recognized research faculty, and coveted research dollars.