The best universities in the world, according to the THE ranking


The United States leads the ranking with five universities in the top ten. Asian institutions are also featured. By Hotcourses Brasil

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, IMT, is the best university in the world, according to the QS Ranking.


The United States continues to lead the QS World University Ranking in its 2021 edition, occupying the first four positions. However, one of the biggest highlights was the unprecedented result of educational institutions in Asia. It is the first time that 26 of them have achieved a place among the top 100 in the world.

The world university ranking of Quacquarelli Symonds, a global higher education analysis company, evaluates more than 5,500 universities according to six performance metrics and lists the 1,000 best placed based on the score achieved by the institutions.

The metrics are:

• Academic reputation (40%)

• Reputation among employers (10%)

• Proportion between students and teachers (20%)

• Citations by academic (20%)

• Proportion of international teachers (5%)

• Proportion of international students (5% )

In the 2020-2021 edition, 47 new universities entered the top 1,000 for the first time. This shows a movement in academic performance worldwide and, even though the American institutions remain unbeatable, there is a growing competition year after year.


The impressive result of the United States starts with first place: the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conquered the top of the ranking for the ninth consecutive year.

Ten of the top 20 countries are American, while the other half is occupied by British, Swiss, and Asian institutions. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) beat Oxford this year, taking fourth place while the UK’s best university dropped to fifth.

In total, 151 American universities appear in the 2021 ranking – just over 15%. 


The big news this year is that Asian educational institutions occupy a quarter of the top 100. A record number of 26 universities on the continent achieved a performance among the top 100 in the world.

There are Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan. The main highlights are the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and the Chinese Tsinghua University among the top 20 positions.


The University of São Paulo (USP) improved its position for the third consecutive year, ranking 115th globally and 3rd in Latin America. This is its best performance in the QS ranking so far and is mainly due to the “Citations by academic” metric, which assesses the production of scientific research with worldwide repercussions. With that, USP is now part of the 350 best research universities in the world. 

Don’t stop now … There’s more after the publicity;)

With USP, fourteen Brazilian universities achieved a place among the 1,000 classifieds. Two other outstanding results are from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) in 233rd – although it fell 19 positions concerning last year – and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) tied at 380th position.

For the sixth consecutive year, the best place in Latin America is the University of Buenos Aires, in Argentina, in the 66th place in the world.

The 20 best universities in the world according to the QS World University Ranking 2021 :

1) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States

2) Stanford University, United States

3) Harvard University, United States

4) California Institute of Technology (Caltech), United States

5) University of Oxford, United Kingdom

6) ETH Zurich , Switzerland

7) University of Cambridge, United Kingdom