World (global).

World University Rankings

The consensus world university rankings reveal which are the world’s top 100 universities for 2014. The consensus formula gives equal weighting to the rankings produced by 4 global ranking agencies.The formula is quite simple.For each of 4 worldwide rankings lists (QS, THE, ARWU and Webometrics), a university can score anywhere between 0 (if it is outside the […]

Cloud supported online study.

Best Online Universities

Ranking and rating universities is done differently for online study.University reputation matters less.Teaching quality and use of technology are more important.The best online courses keep students engaged.Stats on teaching ratings and other aspects of course quality have been used to rank online universities. This happens on a country-by-country basis using national survey data. Australian Online University […]

Australian flag.

Australian University Rankings

The consensus world university rankings for Australia put the University of Melbourne on top again in 2015.At position 39, Melbourne Uni is one of the world’s top 50 universities.The Australian National University also just makes it into the top 50.Three other Australian universities rank among the world’s top 100 universities.Generally, Australian universities have improved slightly compared […]

Canada flag.

Canada University Rankings

The consensus world university rankings for Canada places 3 universities well into the top 50 in 2014: University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, and McGill University.The trio are Canada’s genuinely elite universities.No others make the top 100, though several Canadian universities rank between 101 and 202.

Rank University QS 2013 THE 2013 ARWU 2013 Web 2014 Consensus
1 University of Toronto 17 20 28 33 25
2 University of British Columbia 49 31 40 30 38
3 McGill University 21 35 58 70 46
4 University of Alberta 96 109 125 68 100
5 University of Montreal 92 106 125 152 119
6 McMaster University 140 92 92 218 136
7 University of Calgary 201 212 250 90 188
8 University of Waterloo 180 238 175 165 190
9 Simon Fraser University 244 238 250 76 202
10 University of Ottawa 227 185 250 198 215
11 Queen's University 189 238 250 212 222
12 Western University 199 238 250 242 232
13 Laval University 329 212 250 209 250
14 University of Victoria 321 212 350 119 251
15 Dalhousie University 244 262 250 341 274
16 York University 405 288 450 99 311
17 University of Saskatchewan 425 --- 250 309 328
18 University of Guelph 465 375 250 326 354
19 University of Manitoba 435 325 350 318 357
20 University of Quebec 415 --- 450 212 359
21 Carleton University 525 288 450 450 428
22 Concordia University 485 --- 450 364 433
23 University of Sherbrooke 445 --- 450 585 493
24 Memorial University of Newfoundland 625 --- --- 436 531
25 Ryerson University --- --- --- 536 536
26 Brock University --- --- --- 672 672
27 University of New Brunswick --- --- --- 755 755
28 University of Windsor --- --- --- 793 793
29 University of Lethbridge --- --- --- 808 808
30 University of Regina --- --- --- 829 829
31 Athabasca University --- --- --- 883 883
32 École Polytechnique de Montréal --- --- --- 898 898
33 Wilfrid Laurier University --- --- --- 1,026 1,026
34 University of Prince Edward Island --- --- --- 1,179 1,179
35 Université du Québec Chicoutimi --- --- --- 1,262 1,262
36 Lakehead University --- --- --- 1,265 1,265
37 University of Winnipeg --- --- --- 1,266 1,266
38 Trent University --- --- --- 1,357 1,357
39 Acadia University --- --- --- 1,363 1,363
40 Saint Francis Xavier University --- --- --- 1,373 1,373
41 Laurentian University 1509 1509
42 University of Northern British Columbia 1538 1538
43 HEC Montréal École de Gestion 1570 1570
44 Université de Moncton 1640 1640
45 Saint Mary's University 1708 1708
46 Université INRS Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique 1871 1871
47 Mount Allison University 2004 2004
48 University of Ontario Institute of Technology 2013 2013
49 Seneca College 2100 2100
50 Université du Québec 2155 2155
51 Université du Québec Trois-Rivieres 2247 2247
52 Langara College 2338 2338
53 Thompson Rivers University 2395 2395
54 British Columbia Institute of Technology 2459 2459
55 Humber College 2550 2550
56 Vancouver Island University (Malaspina) 2611 2611
57 Trinity Western University 2775 2775
58 École de Technologie Supérieure 2797 2797
59 Brandon University 2878 2878
60 Nipissing University 2893 2893
61 Université du Québec Outaouais 2909 2909
62 Mount Saint Vincent University 3047 3047
63 Kwantlen University College 3075 3075
64 Université du Québec Abitibi-Temiscamingue 3100 3100
65 Yukon College 3105 3105
66 Algonquin College 3357 3357
67 Université du Québec Rimouski 3370 3370
68 Royal Roads University 3428 3428
69 Centennial College Toronto 3459 3459
70 Mount Royal College 3467 3467
71 Vancouver Community College 3508 3508
72 University of the Fraser Valley 3575 3575
73 Grant MacEwan College 3587 3587
74 Okanagan College 3608 3608
75 George Brown College 3618 3618
76 Cégep de Rimouski 3714 3714
77 Nothern Alberta Institute of Technology 3769 3769
78 Dawson College Westmount Montreal 3827 3827
79 Cape Breton University 3874 3874
80 Royal Military College Canada 3946 3946
81 Bishop's University 3982 3982
82 Capilano University 4157 4157
83 Cégep du Vieux Montréal 4230 4230
84 Mohawk College 4330 4330
85 Cégep de Sainte Foy 4480 4480
86 Conestoga College 4547 4547
87 Emily Carr University of Art + Design 4557 4557
88 Douglas College 4615 4615
89 Camosun College 4624 4624
90 Niagara College 4867 4867
91 Fanshawe College 4909 4909
92 Saint Thomas University 4927 4927
93 Vanier College 5001 5001
94 Durham College 5019 5019
95 Georgian College 5061 5061
96 Nova Scotia Community College 5217 5217
97 Selkirk College 5259 5259
98 Red River College 5288 5288
99 Southern Alberta Institute of Technology 5425 5425
100 Olds College 5461 5461

New Zealand flag.

New Zealand University Rankings

The consensus world university rankings show that 6 out of 8 of New Zealand’s universities are in the top 500 in the world in 2014.The rankings indicate NZ universities are of a generally good standard.However, no universities make the top 100.The best ranked university is the University of Auckland, with a consensus ranking of 178.

Rank University QS 2013 THE 2013 ARWU 2013 Web 2014 Consensus
1 University of Auckland 94 164 250 205 178
2 University of Otago 155 238 250 552 299
3 Massey University 343 --- 450 347 380
4 University of Canterbury 238 325 450 606 405
5 Victoria University of Wellington 265 288 450 851 464
6 University of Waikato 405 325 --- 697 476
7 Auckland University of Technology 475 --- --- 1,278 877
8 Lincoln University 485 --- --- 1,612 1,049

British (UK) Union Jack flag.

UK University Rankings

UK universities feature prominently in world university rankings for 2014.The UK has 9 universities ranked in the top 100.They include the University of Cambridge at 4 and the University of Oxford at 5.Almost 1 in 10 of the world’s top 500 universities are based in the UK.

Rank University QS 2013 THE 2013 ARWU 2013 Web 2014 Consensus
1 University of Toronto 17 20 28 33 25
2 University of British Columbia 49 31 40 30 38
3 McGill University 21 35 58 70 46
4 University of Alberta 96 109 125 68 100
5 University of Montreal 92 106 125 152 119
6 McMaster University 140 92 92 218 136
7 University of Calgary 201 212 250 90 188
8 University of Waterloo 180 238 175 165 190
9 Simon Fraser University 244 238 250 76 202
10 University of Ottawa 227 185 250 198 215
11 Queen's University 189 238 250 212 222
12 Western University 199 238 250 242 232
13 Laval University 329 212 250 209 250
14 University of Victoria 321 212 350 119 251
15 Dalhousie University 244 262 250 341 274
16 York University 405 288 450 99 311
17 University of Saskatchewan 425 --- 250 309 328
18 University of Guelph 465 375 250 326 354
19 University of Manitoba 435 325 350 318 357
20 University of Quebec 415 --- 450 212 359
21 Carleton University 525 288 450 450 428
22 Concordia University 485 --- 450 364 433
23 University of Sherbrooke 445 --- 450 585 493
24 Memorial University of Newfoundland 625 --- --- 436 531
25 Ryerson University --- --- --- 536 536
26 Brock University --- --- --- 672 672
27 University of New Brunswick --- --- --- 755 755
28 University of Windsor --- --- --- 793 793
29 University of Lethbridge --- --- --- 808 808
30 University of Regina --- --- --- 829 829
31 Athabasca University --- --- --- 883 883
32 École Polytechnique de Montréal --- --- --- 898 898
33 Wilfrid Laurier University --- --- --- 1,026 1,026
34 University of Prince Edward Island --- --- --- 1,179 1,179
35 Université du Québec Chicoutimi --- --- --- 1,262 1,262
36 Lakehead University --- --- --- 1,265 1,265
37 University of Winnipeg --- --- --- 1,266 1,266
38 Trent University --- --- --- 1,357 1,357
39 Acadia University --- --- --- 1,363 1,363
40 Saint Francis Xavier University --- --- --- 1,373 1,373
41 Laurentian University 1509 1509
42 University of Northern British Columbia 1538 1538
43 HEC Montréal École de Gestion 1570 1570
44 Université de Moncton 1640 1640
45 Saint Mary's University 1708 1708
46 Université INRS Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique 1871 1871
47 Mount Allison University 2004 2004
48 University of Ontario Institute of Technology 2013 2013
49 Seneca College 2100 2100
50 Université du Québec 2155 2155
51 Université du Québec Trois-Rivieres 2247 2247
52 Langara College 2338 2338
53 Thompson Rivers University 2395 2395
54 British Columbia Institute of Technology 2459 2459
55 Humber College 2550 2550
56 Vancouver Island University (Malaspina) 2611 2611
57 Trinity Western University 2775 2775
58 École de Technologie Supérieure 2797 2797
59 Brandon University 2878 2878
60 Nipissing University 2893 2893
61 Université du Québec Outaouais 2909 2909
62 Mount Saint Vincent University 3047 3047
63 Kwantlen University College 3075 3075
64 Université du Québec Abitibi-Temiscamingue 3100 3100
65 Yukon College 3105 3105
66 Algonquin College 3357 3357
67 Université du Québec Rimouski 3370 3370
68 Royal Roads University 3428 3428
69 Centennial College Toronto 3459 3459
70 Mount Royal College 3467 3467
71 Vancouver Community College 3508 3508
72 University of the Fraser Valley 3575 3575
73 Grant MacEwan College 3587 3587
74 Okanagan College 3608 3608
75 George Brown College 3618 3618
76 Cégep de Rimouski 3714 3714
77 Nothern Alberta Institute of Technology 3769 3769
78 Dawson College Westmount Montreal 3827 3827
79 Cape Breton University 3874 3874
80 Royal Military College Canada 3946 3946
81 Bishop's University 3982 3982
82 Capilano University 4157 4157
83 Cégep du Vieux Montréal 4230 4230
84 Mohawk College 4330 4330
85 Cégep de Sainte Foy 4480 4480
86 Conestoga College 4547 4547
87 Emily Carr University of Art + Design 4557 4557
88 Douglas College 4615 4615
89 Camosun College 4624 4624
90 Niagara College 4867 4867
91 Fanshawe College 4909 4909
92 Saint Thomas University 4927 4927
93 Vanier College 5001 5001
94 Durham College 5019 5019
95 Georgian College 5061 5061
96 Nova Scotia Community College 5217 5217
97 Selkirk College 5259 5259
98 Red River College 5288 5288
99 Southern Alberta Institute of Technology 5425 5425
100 Olds College 5461 5461

United States of America (US or USA).

US College Rankings

American universities and colleges fill many of the top spots in world university rankings for 2014.The 20th best United States’ university, New York University, is ranked 26 the in the world.The USA has more than 50 universities in the global top 100.World university rankings are based on prestige in academic circles and research output. The […]

Top Universities by Country

Cube has put together the ultimate university rankings list for the countries we cover.

  • Lists from the major ranking publishers have been combined to produce a 'consensus' rankings list.
  • As well as overall world rankings, see the top universities by country or region.

University Rankings Explained

University rankings are lists of universities in order of a measure of quality, performance or size.

The 2 main types of rankings are world research rankings and national composite rankings.

World (Research) Rankings

World university ranking.World university rankings are based on international performance metrics, with the ordering explained by research and reputation.World rankings compare universities using metrics that are consistent from country to country. These metrics include research publications (volume and quality), global reputation survey results, and institutional variables such as university size and the staff-to-student ratio.

We call world rankings 'research rankings' because that is essentially what they measure. It is difficult to compare the teaching performances of universities located in different countries. But research output can be compared by looking at academic journals and web publishing statistics.

Some world rankings claim to measure something much broader than academic research performance. But a close look at the ranking methods (below) show that such claims are stretching the truth.

National (Composite) Rankings

National (UK) university rankings.It should be explained that national university rankings use more data variables, making them composite measures. National rankings compare universities within a region where there is consistent performance data. Typically, comparisons are made nationally using data gathered by federal government agencies or private companies.

For a national ranking of universities, there is a broader set of data available, including survey data on student satisfaction and graduate salaries. National rankings are 'composite' measures that are based on a diverse set of performance metrics.

Cube University Rankings publishes national rankings that depend equally on 3 dimensions of performance/quality: academic reputation, student satisfaction, and graduate pay.

How University Rankings are Calculated

Every ranking is only as good as the data used and calculation method.

Here we explain how some of the more popular rankings are constructed and what exactly they measure.

QS world rankings of universities.QS World University Rankings

The QS world ranking formula has these components:

  • academic reputation (40% - survey opinions of academics)
  • citations per faculty (20% - rate at which research is referred to)
  • staff to student ratio (20% - how many academics per student)
  • employer reputation (10% - survey opinions of employers)
  • international ratios (10% - %'s of staff, students from abroad).

The ranking formula is highly dependent on academic reputation and research output.

  • Half a university's score comes directly from reputation surveys.
  • A further 20% comes from global research presence (citations).
  • There are no performance-based measures of teaching quality.

Times Higher Education world university rankings.Times World University Rankings

The Times Higher Education ranking formula is similar to the QS formula but cut a little differently.

THE has the following major components:

  • academic research & income (70% - citations (30%), reputation (18%))
  • teaching reputation & student ratios (22% - teaching reputation (15%))
  • doctoral program size (8% - doctorates awarded per academic (6%))

The Times ranking is also highly dependent on academic reputation and research output.

There is a 15% weighting on teaching reputation (based on the opinions of academics in other universities).

Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities.Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities

The Shanghai university ranking formula consists of:

  • alumni winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (10%)
  • staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (20%)
  • highly cited researchers in 21 categories (20%)
  • papers published in Nature and Science (20%)
  • papers in Science & Social Science Citation Indexes (20%)
  • per capita average of other indicators (10%)

The Shanghai rankings are objectively based on academic research.

Universities rank highly by producing quality research and employing top calibre researchers.

Cybermetrics Lab publishes Webometrics world university web publishing rankings.Webometrics Web Publishing World University Rankings

Webometrics (published by Cybermetrics Lab) has a composite ranking formula:

  • Impact (50% - number of links to the university's website)
  • Presence (17% - number of web pages published by the university)
  • Openness (17% - number of academic publications on the internet)
  • Excellence (17% - number of internet publications cited often).

As with the Shanghai rankings, the formula gives an objective measure of academic research output.

In this case, the focus is on gross web publishing rather than articles in prestigious journals.

Australian university rankings list.Cube National University Rankings

Cube and its country affiliates produce national university rankings.

University performance is measured in a balanced way across 3 dimensions:

  • Prestige (33% - world ranking and/or admission standards)
  • Ratings (33% - course satisfaction rates among finishing students)
  • Graduate Pay (33% - graduate employment and median salaries).

The formula produces rankings that reflect the value to students from attending a given university. The addition of student ratings and graduate pay (compared to world ranking formulas) boosts the rankings of universities that deliver a good education experience.