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These are the most international universities in the world

January 14, 2016 
Lucy Miller

The 200 universities with the most internationally “outward-thinking” attitude have been revealed by Times Higher Education.


ThinkstockPhotos-525222675The universities have been ranked based on results of an “international outlook” indicator in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016.


The international outlook score is based on the institutions’ collaboration with leading departments across the world, the number of international staff employed, the number of academic papers published with authors from more than one country, and their attractiveness to international students.


Perhaps surprisingly, as it doesn’t have a high standing in the World University Rankings, the most international university in the world is Qatar University in the Middle East. The university has an impressive 99.9 international outlook.


The success of Qatar University internationally comes from an in increase in “sustained investment in Middle Eastern higher education”, says Times Higher Education’s Cesar Wazen.


“It is very rare that institutions from outside the established higher education powerhouses – such as the US and the UK – claim top spot in a list such as this,” says Wazen. “The efforts of this Middle Eastern country to invest its wealth into education and research are finally bringing rewards in the most prestigious and comprehensive of ranking systems.”


He adds that the university has been one of the fastest growing in terms of research in the Gulf region in recent years, helping it to cement its position as the first Middle Eastern university to be named the world’s most international.


There are no American universities in the top 20, which is largely dominated by Europe, the Middle East and Asia.


The highest placed US university is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MiT), at 90.


MiT was placed at number five on the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2015-2016, behind the University of Cambridge (36 on this list), Stanford (141), Oxford (18) and California Institute of Technology, which was named the best university in the world but doesn’t even place in the top 200 of international universities.


Switzerland, famed for its technological prowess, has five universities in the international top 20, whilst the UK has four and Singapore and the United Arab Emirates have two apiece.  


The top 20 most international universities are:


1. Qatar University (Qatar)

2. University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

3. University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

4. Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland)

5. University of Geneva (Switzerland)

6. University of Macau (Macau)

7. EHT Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland)

8. University of St Gallen (Switzerland)

9. National University of Singapore (Singapore)

10. Imperial College London (UK)

11. University of Innsbruck (Austria)

12. Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand)

13. American University of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates)

14. Maastricht University (Netherlands)

15. United Arab Emirates University (United Arab Emirates)

16. University of Basel (Switzerland)

17. Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)

18. University of Oxford (UK)

19. University College London (UK)

20. King’s College London (UK)


See the full list of the world’s 200 most international universities here.

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