The 23 best universities outside the developed world


Lomonosov Moscow State University — Russia's

Alexey Kljatov/CC 3.0  ~  Lomonosov_Moscow_State_University

Among the various different university rankings released every year, one thing usually predominates — the sheer number of universities from the USA and Europe that populate the top of the rankings.

In most rankings, the vast majority of top universities are from the USA, the UK, France, Germany, and Italy, thanks to the huge endowments universities in these countries have.

However, look beyond these countries and there are a huge number of top quality institutions in the world’s emerging economies, offering great teaching and research.

Using the Times Higher Education’s (THE) Emerging Economies university ranking, we took a look at the best institutions outside the developed world. THE ranks universities on several metrics, including the standard of teaching, research, the number of citations in research papers, and the international outlook of the universities. It then gives an overall rating out of 100.

A large number of universities on the list are in China, however several from Russia and South Africa also feature.

Check out the list below.

1. Peking University — Officially the best university outside the developed world, Beijing’s Peking University is home to around 32,000 students and beat out Tsinghua by 1.2 points, scoring 73.8 in THE’s ranking. The college scored 77.8 for its teaching.Peking University — Officially the best university23/24 SLIDES © Wikipedia/GFDL

2. Tsinghua University — Tsinghua is one of two universities in China head and shoulders above other emerging market universities. It gained an overall score of 72.6, thanks in some part to a research score of 83. It is located in China’s capital, Beijing.singhua University — Tsinghua

© Wikipedia/CC 2.0

3. Lomonosov Moscow State University — Russia’s top university is Lomonosov, named after founder Mikhail Lomonosov, who started the college in 1755. Today it is home to 47,000 students, in 39 different faculties, Overall, it scored 59.7.Lomonosov Moscow State University — Russia's© Alexey Kljatov/CC 3.0

4. University of Cape Town — Cape Town, which is home to 26,000 students, is the best university not only in South Africa, but the whole of Africa. Times Higher Education gave it an overall score of 56.5.University of Cape Town

© Adrian Frith/CC 3.0

5. National Taiwan University — Top of Taiwan’s university pyramid is the National Taiwan University in the capital, Taipei. It scored 50.8 overall, thanks in part to a solid research score of 58.National Taiwan University — Top of Taiwan's university pyramid© Uwe Aranas/CC 3.0

6. University of Witwatersrand — Witwatersrand is South Africa’s second best university, according to Times Higher Education. That’s thanks to an overall score of 49.3. The university scored a healthy 76 points in the citations category.University of Witwatersrand — Witwatersrand is South Africa's

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7. University of Science and Technology of China — Originally located in Beijing, the USTC was moved to the eastern city of Hefei as part of the Cultural Revolution. The university specialises in science subjects, but does also teach humanities and management degrees. It scored 48.6 points in THE’s ranking.University of Science and Technology of China© Ccyber5/CC 3.0

8. Zhejiang University — Founded in 1897 and a member of the Yangtze Delta Universities Alliance — a sort of Chinese Ivy League — Zhejiang educates 45,000 people. Its overall score was 45.9.hejiang University — Founded in 1897© Peter Potrowl/CC 3.0

9. University of Sao Paulo — Brazil’s top university, Sao Paulo, gained an overall score of 44.5. The university counts many of Brazil’s most successful people as alumni, including Euryclides de Jesus Zerbin, who did Latin America’s first successful heart transplant.University of Sao Paulo — Brazil's top university© Public Domain

10. Shanghai Jiao Tong University — Jiao Tong rounds out the top ten universities, thanks to a strong income score of 92.9, and an overall rating of 43.7.Shanghai Jiao Tong University© Peter Potrowl/GNU

11. Stellenbosch University — Stellenbosch, in South Africa’s Western Cape, is the third best university in the country, educating nearly 30,000 people. The university scored 43.3 overall.Stellenbosch University — Stellenbosch, in South Africa's© Wikipedia/CC 3.0


12. National Chiao Tung University — Located in Hsinchu, Taiwan, Chiao Tung has been home to several Nobel Prize winners, and scored 43.2 points overall to pip Koc University into 12th place.National Chiao Tung University — Located in Hsinchu, Taiwan© Slayer/CC 2.0

13. Koç Üniversity — Named after its founder, Vehbi Koc, this private university in Istanbul ranks as the best in Turkey, and scored 43.1 overall.Koç Üniversity© Khutuck/CC 3.0

14. Nanjing University — Founded in its current form in 1902, but with roots as far back as 258AD, Nanjing is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China. Overall, it scored 42.6 out of 100.Nanjing University — Founded in its current form in 1902© Wikipedia/CC 3.0

15. National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech) — Another Taiwanese university to make the list, Taiwan Tech scored 42.5 overall in the emerging markets ranking. National Taiwan University of Science and Technology© Wikipedia/CC 3.0

16. Indian Institute of Science — India’s top institution of higher learning, according to Times Higher Education. The IIS scored 42.3 overall, with a teaching score of 42.7.Indian Institute of Science© Wikipedia/GNU

17. Fudan University — Home to one of China’s best journalism schools. Fudan — in China’s financial capital, Shanghai — scored 41.4 overall, with a citations score of 61.1.Fudan University — Home to one of China's best journalism schools© Wikipedia

18. Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University — Probably the best name on this list, the St Petersburg-based university, like Tomsk before it, scored highly for citations, but poorly in the research category.Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University© CC 2.0

19. National Tsing Hua University — Tsing Hua (not to be confused with Tsinghua) University in Beijing is home to around 12,000 students in total, and gained an overall score of 40.2. National Tsing Hua University© Vegafish/CC 2.5

20. Tomsk Polytechnic University — Located in Russia’s Ural mountain region, Tomsk scored highly for citations, with 82.4 points. It did very poorly in the research category however, getting just 15.1.Tomsk Polytechnic University — Located in Russia© Adam Jones/CC 3.0

21. National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) — NCKU, in Tainan City, Taiwan, is one of the country’s best schools, scoring 39.2 overall.National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) — NCKU, in Tainan City, Taiwan© Wikipedia/CC 3.0

22. Sabanci University — Sabanci was founded in 1994, and is ranked as the country’s second best university. It scored highly in the citations category with 52.8.Sabanci University© Cercan/CC 3.0

23. National Autonomous University of Mexico — Known as UNAM in Mexico, this university is ranked the best in all of Mexico, scoring 37.8 out of 100.National Autonomous University of Mexico© Flickr/CC 2.0