A top university is understood to be a university that is characterized by the outstanding quality of its scientific maintenance. Top universities are well funded and appear at the top of the list of university rankings .
The expression “top university” can be found in the German language since around 1950. In English one speaks - descriptively - rather of research universities (" research universities ").
University Ranking 2020
|Number of students||Annual expenses||Endowment / foundation assets||swell|
|in local currency||in US $ billion||in local currency||in US $ billion|
|WITH||United States||#1||11,574||US $ 3.6 billion||3.6||$ 16.4 billion||16.4|
|University of Oxford||United Kingdom||# 4||23,975||£ 1.4 billion||1.8||£ 6.1 billion||8.0|
|ETH Zurich||Switzerland||# 6||20,607||1.8 billion CHF||1.8||424 million CHF||0.4|
|National University of Singapore||Singapore||# 11||35,908||2.6 billion SGD||1.9||SGD 10.5 billion||1.1|
|Tsinghua University||People's Republic of China||# 16||36,300||RMB ¥ 13.7 billion||3.6||¥ 7.3 billion||1.0|
|Tokyo University||Japan||# 22||28,253||¥ 258.8 billion||2.4||¥ 11 billion||0.1|
|Hong Kong University||Hong Kong||# 25||29,099||HK $ 9.455 billion||1.2||HK $ 4-5 billion||~ 0.6|
|Australian National University||Australia||# 29||20,892||AU $ 1.37 billion||0.9|
|University of Toronto||Canada||# 29||61,339||$ 2.68 billion can $||2.0||Can $ 2.84 billion||2.1|
|Seoul National University||South Korea||# 37||27,784||₩ 829.019 billion||0.7||58.9 billion ₩||0.05|
|Delft University of Technology||Netherlands||# 50||21,223||€ 660.1 million||0.7|
|Université PSL||France||# 53||17,000|
|Technical University of Munich||Germany||# 55||42,000||€ 1.5 billion||1.7||€ 30 million||0.03|
Germany has 30 universities that are among the top 500 in the QS World University Ranking ; that is - after the United States and Great Britain - more than in any other country on earth (as of 2019). However, no German university appears in the top 50 on this list. The TU Munich (# 61) is rated the highest , followed by the LMU Munich (# 62) and the University of Heidelberg (# 64) . The fourth highest rated German university, KIT , follows in 116th place.
A special feature of Germany is that a large part of the top research does not take place at universities, but at non-university institutions. The Max Planck Society , the Helmholtz Association , the Fraunhofer Society , the Jülich Research Center , DESY , the German Cancer Research Center , the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research , the German Aerospace Center , the Robert Koch Institute and the Leibniz Association .
Many of these institutions are, however, linked to universities through cooperations and also participate in university teaching - for example by providing teaching staff, participating in the conception of courses and jointly operated graduate schools .
Funding by the federal government
The excellence initiative launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation in 2005 should also be seen as a contribution to research funding . Universities that are recognized for their future concept as part of this program will receive additional funds in the three-digit million range for a certain period of time. The aim of the initiative is to expand cutting-edge research and increase the international prestige of the German university system as a whole.
Not all of the German universities with high ratings in the QS World University Rankings (2020) are currently also universities of excellence; so are missing among the latter z. B. KIT (# 124), TU Berlin (# 147), Uni Freiburg (# 169) and Uni Göttingen (# 197). Conversely, the Universities of Excellence Cologne (# 308) and Bremen (# 521) are rated comparatively low in the QS ranking.
The federal states also make contributions to the promotion of cutting-edge research, such as B. North Rhine-Westphalia , which started in 2001 with the establishment of " NRW Graduate Schools ". Funds are made available to these internationally oriented graduate schools to offer top-level research in specific areas. In addition to the NRW Graduate Schools, research schools are being set up that cover other areas of focus. Both grants are awarded in a competitive process. In addition, in connection with the EU, centers such as B. funded the European Research Center for Information Systems . In addition, special focus areas of the universities are explicitly funded and additional funds are made available to the universities. In addition, there is a return program in North Rhine-Westphalia for top German researchers who work abroad. Those who pass the application process can choose a university in North Rhine-Westphalia where they want to do research in the future and receive financial incentives of up to 1.25 million euros to set up their own research team as well as non-financial support e.g. B. in job creation and search for the life partner.
As in Germany, a large part of top-level research in Austria does not take place at universities, but at non-university institutions. The institutes of the Austrian Academy of Sciences , the Austrian Institute of Technology , the Ludwig Boltzmann Society , the Research Institute for Molecular Pathology , the Austrian Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Science and Technology should be mentioned in particular .
The Austrian universities with the highest ratings in the QS World University Rankings (2020) are the University of Vienna (# 154), the Technical University of Vienna (# 192), the University of Innsbruck (# 266), the Technical University of Graz (# 311) and the University of Linz (# 412).
With regard to the entry conditions and performance of the 22 federal universities - including the four medical and six artistic universities - there is a largely egalitarian claim in Austria ("high level for everyone"). Since 2011, however, the federal government has been trying to achieve greater specialization and profiling of the various locations within the framework of an “Austrian University Plan”.
Location of the Swiss universities
Switzerland has seven comprehensive universities and five specialized universities. The ETH Zurich and the ETH Lausanne are so-called federal universities, while the universities of Basel , Bern , Friborg (Freiburg i. Ü.), Geneva , Lausanne , Lucerne , Neuchâtel , St. Gallen , Zurich and the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano and Mendrisio are cantonal universities, which are financed primarily by the canton and only secondarily by the federal government. ETH Zurich is usually ranked among the 10 best in the world, ETH Lausanne usually among the 50 best, and the full universities of Basel, Geneva and Zurich are each ranked among the 100 best university institutions in the world. What is special about Swiss universities is their specialization.
In Switzerland there are some very research-intensive university hospitals (including Center hospitalier universitaire vaudois , University Hospital Zurich , Inselspital , Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève ). The most important non-university research institutions include the Paul Scherrer Institute , the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute .
The most famous examples of French elite universities generally include the École normal supérieure (ENS), the Sciences Po , the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) or the École polytechnique , which mostly have subsidiary branches in various cities in France are based in Paris (or the surrounding area).
English speaking area
Universities in the United Kingdom
In a European comparison, British universities are regularly seen as leading. Traditionally regarded and especially the two oldest and best known are the English universities of Oxford and Cambridge (often mentioned together under the portmanteau Oxbridge ), British and leading universities. However, this view, which is particularly widespread abroad, is not accurate, since within England the Imperial College London in the field of medicine and engineering and the London School of Economics in the field of economics are considered leaders. In global rankings, the UK universities constitute the largest group after the US universities.
Similar to the Ivy League in the USA, the leading 24 research-intensive universities in England have come together to form the Russell Group . The members of the Russell Group are synonymous as the elite universities in Great Britain.
A shortlist of the six leading UK universities is referred to as the “ golden triangle ” between Oxford, Cambridge and London:
- London School of Economics
- Imperial College London
- Oxford University
- Cambridge University
- King's College London
- University College London
The Russell Group consists of the following members:
- Queen Mary, University of London
- Queen's University Belfast
- Birmingham University
- Bristol University
- Cambridge University
- Cardiff University
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Glasgow
- University of Leeds
- Liverpool University
- Imperial College London
- King's College London
- London School of Economics
- University College London
- University of Manchester
- Newcastle University
- University of Nottingham
- Oxford University
- University of Sheffield
- University of Southampton
- Warwick University
- Durham University
- University of Exeter
- University of York
|QS World University Ranking||#1||# 2||# 3||# 16||# 32||2018/2019|
|Number of students||Bachelor||4602||7083||6699||8931||31,543||2018/2019|
|Master, professional, doctorate||6972||9437||13,120||24.101||12,828|
|all in all||11,574||16,520||19,819||33,032||44,371|
|Average income of graduates aged 34 years (in US $)||98,500||84,800||81,500||75,300||65,800||2019|
|Financial situation of the university (in US $)||Research funding from federal funds||487,434,000||710,698,000||573,157,000||647,840,000||487,846,000||2017|
|Assets ( Endowment )||16.4 billion||27.7 billion||40.9 billion||10.95 billion||4.34 billion||2018/2019|
Top schools acquire their reputation, which is expressed in the relevant university rankings, primarily through the quality of their science. In the QS World University Rankings for 2020, five universities in the USA appear among the top ten: 1st Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2nd Stanford University , 3rd Harvard University , 5th Caltech and 10th University of Chicago . The eight universities of the Ivy League and the 30 schools of the “ Public Ivy ” are traditionally considered to be top schools.
Today, those willing to study orientate themselves even more on the ranking of the respective degree program than on the university ranking. So apply e.g. For example, ambitious high school graduates with a desire to study architecture rarely go to MIT, Stanford or Harvard, but rather Cornell , Rice or Cal Poly , where the most prestigious training in this particular subject is actually offered.
Universities in the United States vary widely in terms of their financial resources. For example, the federal government promotes institutions with a strong research focus, both private and public schools. The research-intensive universities are also attracting donors more strongly. The state's universities raised a total of US $ 46.73 billion in donations in the 2017/2018 school year. The top 20 recipients alone received 28% of this amount, even though their student body only makes up 1.6% of all students in the United States. Universities that receive little or no money from federal tax revenue or from donors have to meet a larger proportion of their expenses from state taxes.
The Canadian tertiary education system is essentially the same as the US. In Canada, in contrast to the USA, practically all Canadian universities are subject to a uniform state quality control system and most of them are members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), which is why the standard of Canadian universities is considered more uniform than that in the USA.
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