Best Universities in the World – 2022 Online Ranking (1st edition)

Best Universities in the World – 2022 Online Ranking (1st edition)
Imed Bouchrika, Phd by Imed Bouchrika, Phd
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

On November 21, 2022, Research.com released the first edition of the annual online ranking for the best universities in the world. The ranking is unique, as its main focus is on measuring the influence and contributions of researchers and scholars from each institution, based on objective data reflecting the reputation of academic scholars, a metric that is frequently missing from other popular rankings.

What is more, we hope it will inspire researchers, decision-makers, and entrepreneurs around the world to find out where leading experts work and carry out their research. It is a great opportunity for all of us to learn which institutions and countries host the leading experts in all areas of science.

For the 2022 edition of the online ranking, more than 166,880 scientist profiles on Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Graph have been examined with several indicators and metrics reviewed in order to consider each scientist’s inclusion in the ranking.

The position in the ranking is based on a total sum of H-index values from Microsoft Academic Graph for scientists affiliated with a given university. The H-index threshold for approving a scholar to be considered was set differently for each scientific discipline but was in most cases equal to 30 or 40. The inclusion criteria for scholars to be considered for the ranking of top scientists are based on their H-index, the proportion of contributions made within the given discipline, and the awards and achievements of the scientists.

The key findings for the 2022 ranking of the world’s best universities

  • Universities from the United States dominate the world ranking with 234 institutions representing 23.4% of all leading universities. 
  • The state with the best universities in the USA is California.
  • The other countries with leading positions in the ranking are China (97 universities or 9.7%), the United Kingdom (75 universities or 7.5%), Japan (68 universities or 6.8%), and Germany (62 scientists or 6.2%).
  • In 2022 Harvard University was the research institution hosting the highest number of leading scientists with as many as 2113 of them working there this year
  • The only university in the top 10 that is based outside the US is Oxford University
  • The highest-ranking Asian university is the University of Tokyo, Japan located on spot 27
  • The highest number of influential universities is located in Europe with a total of 394 universities or 39.4% of all leading universities

The full ranking for the 2022 ranking of the best universities in the world can be found here:

BEST UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD RANKING

Professor Imed Bouchrika, the co-founder and chief data scientist at Research.com, explained the reasons behind creating the ranking:

“Because of the need to have a transparent methodology based on rational and well-established metrics, it’s without a doubt that the main contributor to success for an institution stems from the reputation of its staff. Besides, when it comes to tertiary education, research is the thrust for such success. The rankings of universities based on objective data compiled from top scientists would serve to produce a fair framework for ranking academic institutions where students can have the opportunity to be educated and supervised by leading scholars. It was unfortunate to spot numerous prestigious universities with a considerable number of leading scientists being poorly ranked by other mainstream ranking providers.“

Countries & regions with the highest number of leading universities

Universities from the United States continue to dominate the list with 234 institutions from that country listed in 2022 which represents 23.4% of the whole ranking. The other leading countries are China with 97 universities, the United Kingdom with 75 universities, Japan with 68 universities, Germany with 62 universities, and Italy with 53 universities.

9 out of 10 universities in the top 10 are from the United States (the only one that is based outside the US is Oxford University).

In North America, most leading universities are from the US, with 234 ranking institutions, followed by Canada with 36 universities.

In Europe, the highest number of leading universities is located in the United Kingdom with 75 ranking institutions (19% of all ranking European universities), followed by Germany with 62 institutions (15%), and Italy with 53 (13%).

In Asia, the country with the highest number of leading universities is China, with a total of 97 universities (45% of all ranking Asian universities), followed by Japan with 31% of ranking Asian universities being based there. 

In the Middle East, the country with the highest number of leading universities is Iran, with a total of 9 universities (33%), closely followed by Israel with 7 ranking universities (26%).

In South America, the country with the highest number of leading universities is Brazil, with a total of 15 universities (68%), followed by Argentina and Chile with 3 ranking universities in each of these countries.

In Oceania, the country with the highest number of leading universities is Australia, with a total of 35 universities (83%), followed by New Zealand with 7 ranking institutions.

In Africa, the only country that made it to the ranking is South Africa, with 7 ranking universities.

As far as geographical regions are concerned, the most influential universities are located in Europe with a total of 394 universities or 39.4% of all leading universities, followed by North America with 272 universities, and Asia with 214 universities. The least represented regions are South America with 22 (mostly from Brazil), and Africa (with only 7 universities being ranked, all of them from South Africa).

US states with the best universities

In terms of the total H-index generated by the leading scientists as well as the number of leading scientists, the state with the best universities in the USA is California. 19 of the leading universities are based in California, and 4 of them rank in the world’s top 10. Universities from California host a total of 6871 leading scientists with a total H-index of 443,794.

The state that is home to the highest number of leading universities is Texas, with as many as 21 leading institutions being based there, and 2228 leading scientists being affiliated with these institutions. California ranks second with 19 institutions, and New York is third with 17 universities.

H-index ranking – leaders, averages, and distribution

  • Harvard University tops the list of the best universities in the world with a total H-index of 170,977 and 2113 scientists from that institution.
  • For Europe, Oxford University is ranked the first in the region with a world rank of 5. 
  • University of Tokyo, Japan leads the top list in Asia with a world rank of 27. 
  • For Oceania, the University of Sydney from Australia is on top of the list with a world rank of 42. 
  • Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil is the first in South America with a world ranking of 158
  • In Africa, the highest-ranking university is the University of Cape Town, South Africa ranking at position 336 in the world.

The average H-index for the top 10 universities is 68,012 against an average of 5836 for all 1000 universities included in the online ranking.

The average number of papers published for the top 10 universities in the ranking is 207,499 against an average of 19,874 for all 1000 universities.

The average number of citations for the top 10 universities is 27,801,046 against an average of 1,812,603 for all 1000 universities.

You can learn more about the methodology used to create the ranking here.

About Research.com

All research was coordinated by Imed Bouchrika, PhD, a computer scientist with a well-established record of collaboration on a number of international research projects with different partners from the academic community. His role was to make sure all data remained unbiased, accurate, and up-to-date.

Research.com is the number one research portal for science rankings. Our mission is to make it easier for professors, research fellows, and those studying for a PhD or a master’s degree to progress with their research and to ensure they are always up-to-date with the latest conferences around the world and publications related to their work. Research.com is also involved in the publication of an annual ranking of leading scientists in a wide range of scientific disciplines.

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