​​University of Oxford, UK

There is no clear date of foundation but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096. This is the second-oldest university in the world. The university comprises 44 colleges and halls, and over 100 libraries, making it the largest library system in the UK.

​​Stanford University, USA

It was established in 1885 and opened six years later as a co-educational and non-denominational private institution. There are 700 major university buildings housing 40 departments within the three academic schools and four professional schools, alongside 18 independent laboratories, centres and institutes.

​​Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Incorporated in 1861. Its motto is “Mens et manus” (“mind and hand”). MIT is currently organised into five different schools: architecture and planning, engineering, humanities, arts and social sciences, management and science.

Harvard University, USA

Established in 1636. It was named after its first benefactor, John Harvard, who left his library and half his estate to the institution when he died in 1638. There are more than 400 student organisations on campus, and Harvard’s medical school is connected to 10 hospitals.

University of Cambridge, UK

Founded in 1209. This is the fourth-oldest university in the world. The university is split into 31 autonomous colleges. Its motto is Hinc lucem et pocula sacra (From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge).

​​ Princeton University, USA

Established in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, it was officially renamed Princeton University in 1896 in honour of the area where it is based, opening its famous graduate school in 1900. Spread across 500 acres, the Princeton campus has about 180 buildings, including 10 libraries containing about 14 million holdings.

​​ California Institute of Technology, USA

Founded as Throop University in 1891 in Pasadena, California, and renamed the California Institute of Technology in 1920. Caltech has a high research output and alongside many high-quality facilities, both on campus and globally. This includes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Caltech Seismological Laboratory and the International Observatory Network.

​​ Imperial College London, UK

Established in 1907 by Royal Charter. It focus on four main areas: science, engineering, medicine and business. The college’s motto is Scientia imperii decus et tutamen, which translates as “Scientific knowledge, the crowning glory and the safeguard of the empire”.

​​ University of California, Berkeley, USA

Founded in 1868. It has 184 academic departments and programs. The university is located in San Francisco’s Bay Area. Berkeley faculty have won 19 Nobel prizes, mostly in physics, chemistry and economics.

​​Yale University, USA

Established in 1701. The university is made up of 14 schools. Around one in five students is international, and more than half of all undergraduates receive scholarships or grants from the university.

Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024

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