News > ShanghaiRanking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities 2021 Press Release

ShanghaiRanking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities 2021 Press Release

Sunday, August 15, 2021
From: Shanghai, People's Republic of China

The 2021 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is released today by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. Since 2003, ARWU has been presenting the world's top universities annually based on transparent methodology and objective third-party data. It has been recognized as the precursor of global university rankings and the most trustworthy one. This year, more than 2000 institutions were scrutinized, and the best 1000 universities in the world are published.

Harvard University tops the ranking list for the 19th year. Stanford University and the University of Cambridge remain at the No. 2 and No. 3 seats. Other Top 10 universities are MIT (4th), Berkeley (5th), Princeton (6th), Oxford (7th), Columbia (8th), Caltech (9th), and Chicago (10th).

In Continental Europe, Paris-Saclay University (13th) rises one position, remaining at the best position, followed by ETH Zurich (21th). Among Asian universities, The University of Tokyo (24th) keeps its leading position. Tsinghua University (28th) moves up one position, holding on to the second-best place in Asia. The University of Melbourne (33th) tops of other universities in Oceania for eleven consecutive years since 2011.

Two European universities move up into the Top 50. The University of Munich from Germany ranked 48th, up from 51st last year, and Utrecht University from Netherlands rises two places to 50th. Three universities enter into the Top 100 list, including Sun Yat-sen University (89th) from Chinese Mainland, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (90th), and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (94th) from Israel. Sun Yat-sen University has made the first-ever appearances in the Top 100. There are seven new entrants from Asia and Oceania appearing on the Top 500 list. 38 universities enter into Top 1000 for the first time.

TOP 100 Universities in ARWU 2021
2021 Rank 2020 Rank Institution Country/Region
1 1 Harvard University United States
2 2 Stanford University United States
3 3 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
4 4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States
5 5 University of California, Berkeley United States
6 6 Princeton University United States
7 9 University of Oxford United Kingdom
8 7 Columbia University United States
9 8 California Institute of Technology United States
10 10 University of Chicago United States
11 11 Yale University United States
12 12 Cornell University United States
13 14 Paris-Saclay University France
14 13 University of California, Los Angeles United States
15 19 University of Pennsylvania United States
16 15 Johns Hopkins University United States
17 16 University College London United Kingdom
18 18 University of California, San Diego United States
19 16 University of Washington United States
20 21 University of California, San Francisco United States
21 20 ETH Zurich Switzerland
22 23 University of Toronto Canada
23 23 Washington University in St. Louis United States
24 26 The University of Tokyo Japan
25 25 Imperial College London United Kingdom
26 22 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor United States
27 27 New York University United States
28 29 Tsinghua University China
29 30 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States
30 33 University of Copenhagen Denmark
31 32 University of Wisconsin - Madison United States
32 27 Duke University United States
33 35 The University of Melbourne Australia
34 30 Northwestern University United States
35 39 Sorbonne University France
35 36 The University of Manchester United Kingdom
37 34 Kyoto University Japan
38 36 PSL University France
38 42 The University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
40 40 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities United States
41 41 The University of Texas at Austin United States
42 45 Karolinska Institute Sweden
42 43 Rockefeller University United States
42 38 University of British Columbia Canada
45 49 Peking University China
46 44 University of Colorado at Boulder United States
47 47 King's College London United Kingdom
48 48 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas United States
48 51 University of Munich Germany
50 52 Utrecht University Netherlands
51 54 The University of Queensland Australia
52 54 Technical University of Munich Germany
52 58 Zhejiang University China
54 56 University of Zurich Switzerland
55 45 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States
56 53 University of Maryland, College Park United States
57 57 Heidelberg University Germany
57 49 University of California, Santa Barbara United States
59 63 Shanghai Jiao Tong University China
60 59 University of Geneva Switzerland
61 60 University of Oslo Norway
61 61 University of Southern California United States
63 73 University of Science and Technology of China China
64 69 University of Groningen Netherlands
65 74 The University of New South Wales Australia
65 62 Vanderbilt University United States
67 78 McGill University Canada
67 67 The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center United States
69 74 University of Sydney Australia
70 69 University of California, Irvine United States
71 69 Aarhus University Denmark
71 66 Ghent University Belgium
73 65 University of Paris France
74 69 Stockholm University Sweden
75 80 National University of Singapore Singapore
76 67 The Australian National University Australia
77 100 Fudan University China
78 64 University of Bristol United Kingdom
78 77 Uppsala University Sweden
80 85 Monash University Australia
81 91 Nanyang Technological University Singapore
82 74 University of Helsinki Finland
83 80 Leiden University Netherlands
84 83 Nagoya University Japan
84 87 University of Bonn Germany
86 79 Purdue University - West Lafayette United States
87 97 KU Leuven Belgium
87 88 University of Basel Switzerland
89 101-150 Sun Yat-sen University China
90 101-150 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel
91 83 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne Switzerland
92 98 McMaster University Canada
92 93 Weizmann Institute of Science Israel
94 101-150 Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Israel
95 90 Boston University United States
96 85 The University of Western Australia Australia
97 95 Carnegie Mellon University United States
97 93 Moscow State University Russia
97 88 University of Florida United States
100 91 University of California, Davis United States

Universities from the United States dominate this year’s Top 1000 list with 40 universities among the Top 100, 129 among the Top 500, and 200 among the Top 1000. The United Kingdom has 65 Top 1000 universities, and 38 of them are listed in the Top 500, 8 are listed in the Top 100.

Germany has four universities ranked in the Top 100, namely the University of Munich (LMU Munich, 48th), Technical University of Munich (TUM, 52th), Heidelberg University (Heidelberg, 57th), and University of Bonn (Bonn, 84th). It is worth mentioning that LMU Munich, TUM, and Heidelberg have been selected as Universities of Excellence under the Excellence Initiative since 2006/2007, and Bonn was selected first time as Universities of Excellence in 2019.

French universities maintain their competitive performance in this year’s league table, 30 of which are ranked in the Top 1000, 17 universities are ranked in the Top 500. Under the Initiatives of Excellence (Initiatives D’Excellence), Paris-Saclay (13th), Sorbonne (35th), PSL (38th), and University of Paris (73th) hold four positions in the Top 100.

China has 180 universities ranked in the Top 1000, including 84 Top 500 universities, 7 Top 100 universities. The number of universities from Chinese Mainland continues to grow. Most of the listed universities are supported by the “Double World-Class Project” (World-Class Universities and World-Class Subjects Project).

The complete list and detailed methodologies can be found at ShanghaiRanking’s website

Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU): Starting from 2003, ARWU has been presenting the world's top universities annually based on a set of objective indicators and third-party data. ARWU has been recognized as the precursor of global university rankings and the most trustworthy league table. ARWU adopts six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, the number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, and Clarivate data including the number of Highly Cited Researchers™, articles indexed in Science Citation Index Expanded™ and Social Sciences Citation Index™ in the Web of Science™ and per capita performance. More than 2000 universities are ranked by ARWU every year, and the best 1000 universities are published.

ShanghaiRanking Consultancy: ShanghaiRanking Consultancy is a fully independent organization dedicating to research on higher education intelligence and consultation. It has been the official publisher of the Academic Ranking of World Universities since 2009.