The Global Universities: How They Rank

As growing numbers of international students cast about for prestigious degrees—particularly those offered in English—competition has stiffened up for the world’s top universities in the United States and Great Britain. Good schools around Asia and Europe have begun poaching talented students who, just years ago, would have applied to Oxbridge or an Ivy as a matter of course. The two biggest surveys of universities worldwide—one by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) and one by Shanghai Jiao Tong University—show that, while the very best schools (topped this year by Harvard, on both lists) aren’t about to be dislodged, the best 500 schools now come from 50 different countries, according to THES. Here are its top 10, followed by some of the up-and-comers set next to more established schools for perspective: