The QS World University Rankings organization has released its first list of top universities in Europe, evaluating 688 institutions across the continent — with Great Britain leading the pack.
The United Kingdom, its Oxford University at the top, boasts the most universities on the list, with 107 featured and accounting for 15.5% of the total.
It’s followed by Turkey with 73 at 10.6%, and Germany with 53 at 7.8%.
France follows at 7.2%, Spain at 6.4% and Poland at 4.8%.
An evolving landscape
For the first time, the list includes 106 European universities that have not previously been ranked by the global higher education analyst, signaling the evolving landscape of higher education as institutions from North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Albania, among others, are included.
The rankings are based on 12 traditional criteria including global recognition, research prowess, teaching resources, internationalisation and employment outcomes. This survey added a new category of ‘international student diversity’ that assesses the proportion of international students and the number of nationalities represented.
According to the new rankings for Europe 2024, seven U.K. institutions dominate the top 10 list with the University of Oxford in first place, University of Cambridge third, Imperial College London fourth, University College London (UCL) fifth, University of Edinburgh sixth, University of Manchester in eighth place and King’s College London in tenth.
Oxford University, University of Cambridge and Imperial College London are among the institutions with 100 points for ‘Academic reputation’, ‘Employer reputation’ and ‘International Research Network’.
The University of Edinburgh is the only institution in the survey to receive a perfect score of 100 in the sustainability indicator.
Switzerland has two institutions in the first 10 places: ETH Zurich-Swiss Federal Institute of Technology second on the list and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) at #9.
One French public research university, the PSL-Paris Sciences et Lettres University made it to #7.
The QS University rankings notes that “many universities outside of the leading top 10 are excelling in certain indicators. For example, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ranked 66th) with 100 in ‘Inbound exchange students’, University of Luxembourg (ranked 182nd) with 100 in ‘Outbound exchange students’ and Aalto University in Finland (ranked 40th) with 99.8 in ‘Employment outcomes’.
The next on the list
Among other non-British new universities appearing in the first 25 places are:
Technical University of Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and Universität Heidelberg in Germany, Delft University of Technology and University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Institut Polytechnique de Paris Palaiseau Cedex and Sorbonne University in Paris, KU Leuven in Belgium, Lund University, Uppsala University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.
Of the over 42,613 respondents to a QS Survey, prospective international students said the U.K. was their top choice for the best study destination in Europe (22%). The next most-popular destinations were Sweden (8%), Italy (6%),and the Netherlands and Germany with 5% each.
“The inaugural edition of the QS Europe Ranking offers a unique opportunity for universities in one of the world’s most competitive higher education landscapes to benchmark themselves against their international peers, and for its policymakers to assess individual institutional performance across the broadest range of data sets in any of our rankings,” said Ben Sowter, QS senior vice president.
These are the top 10 universities with their programs fees and ratings:
2) ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
3) University of Cambridge, U.K.
5) UCL, London
7) Université PSL, Paris, France
8) University of Manchester, UK
9) EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
See the complete list of the universities featured in the survey here.