The World University Rankings 2023: Quick Summary

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The recent release of Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 is the largest ranking of its kind, covering 1,799 universities across 104 countries. Every year, organizations, universities, and students from all over the world wait nervously for the results of these rankings. They help international students review, compare, and select the best university for them in the country of their choice.

The World University Rankings 2023: Quick Summary
The World University Rankings 2023: Quick Summary

Although the top 25 to 50, or even top 100, are considered the best, any university found in these extensive rankings has something to offer anyone wanting to secure a good education and a successful career.

What is the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023?

It’s a yearly report by the Times Higher Education Magazine. They are also known as the THE Rankings 2023. THE publishes the rankings of nearly 1800 universities across over 100 countries worldwide.

Are the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 reliable?

Can you trust these rankings? Absolutely. Their methodology is robust, transparent and reliable. Universities around the world rely on THE Rankings and are quick to share their THE Rankings in their websites and social media platforms.

What are the THE Rankings based on?

The methodology behind the Rankings is data-driven, thorough and validated. Each institution is evaluated using 13 performance indicators which are grouped into these five main areas:

  • Teaching 30 per cent (reputation, number of students to staff ratio, doctorate to bachelor’s ratio)
  • Research 30 per cent (reputation, research income, research productivity)
  • Citations 30 per cent (research influence)
  • International outlook 7.5 per cent (proportion of international students, proportion of international staff, international collaboration)
  • Industry Income 2.5 per cent (knowledge transfer)

To be included in the THE Rankings, institutions must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Publish more than 1,000 publications over the past five years and more than 150 relevant publications in one year.
  • Teach at the undergraduate level.
  • Not be focused only on one subject area.
  • Give overall numbers for the year.
  • Not have more than two of the critical values (see above) as null/zero.
  • Mark at least one subject as applicable.
  • Not be in the custom exclusions list.

What information does the THE Rankings 2023 give?

You can use filters to refine your search in the THE Rankings. You can view universities ranking by:

  • overall – showing the above five areas mentioned above
  • country/region
  • subject
  • university

Which university is top of THE Rankings 2023?

University of Oxford, UK is in first place for the seventh year in a row.


Rank Name


No. of FTE* students No. of students per staff International students Female:Male


1 University of Oxford

United Kingdom

20,967 10.6 42% 48:52

*FTE – full-time equivalency


Rank Name


Overall Teaching Research Citations Industry Income International Outlook
1 University of Oxford

United Kingdom

96.4 92.3 99.7 99.0 74.9 96.2


 What universities are in the top 10?

The top 10 in the THE World University Rankings 2023 are:

Rank Name


Number of FTE* students Number of students per staff International students Female:Male


2 Harvard University


21,887 9.6 25% 50:50
=3 University of Cambridge


20,185 11.3 39% 47:53
=3 Stanford University


16,164 7.1 24% 46:54
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology


11,415 8.2 33% 40.:60
6 California Institute of Technology


2,237 6.2 34% 37:63
7 Princeton University 8,279 8.0 23% 46:54
8 University of California, Berkley


40,921 18.4 24% 52:48
9 Yale University


13,482 5.9 21% 52:48
10 Imperial College London


18,544 11.2 61% 40:60

THE World University Rankings 2023 Summary

In summary, the top two universities maintain their top-ranking positions, with the University of Oxford ranking in first place (for the seventh year in a row) and Harvard University in second place. The University of Cambridge, however, has jumped from fifth place in 2022 to joint third place in 2023.

The USA continues to have the greatest number of universities (64%) in the top 25. However, when it comes to research and industry income (see an explanation of these below), Chinese universities are leading the way.

Another important highlight is that five African countries have joined THE World University Rankings 2023 for the first time. These are Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Mauritius.

It’s important to review other industry rankings to help you make a more informed decision about your future studies.