American universities dominated the top 20 in an annual ranking of global educational institutions released by a Chinese organisation yesterday, with Harvard remaining in first place ahead of Stanford.
The top 20 in the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities included only four non-American institutions, all from Europe, including Cambridge in fifth place and Oxford in 10th.
The top 10 were virtually unchanged on last year, with only the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in third, swapping position with fourth-placed University of California, Berkeley, and Princeton in sixth doing the same with California Institute of Technology in seventh.
Columbia University in New York was eighth, and the University of Chicago ninth.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich was 19th, remaining the highest-ranked continental European institution. University College London climbed two places to scrape into the top 20.
The Centre for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University started compiling the annual rankings in 2003, and Harvard has been in first place ever since. The top-ranked Asia-Pacific institutions were Tokyo University in 21st place and Kyoto in 26th, both of them unchanged on last year.
Peking University was the highest-ranked on the mainland at 119, followed by Shanghai Jiao Tong itself at 122.
The survey covers more than 1,200 universities around the world, with the best 500 selected on six indicators, including the number of Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals won by staff and alumni, and the number of articles published in the journals Nature and Science.
The list was designed to benchmark the performance of Chinese universities. European officials have claimed the ranking is biased against universities in Europe as it puts greater emphasis on science than humanities.