World’s most international universities revealed

Qatar University has topped a list of the world’s most international education institutions, based on data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016.

The Middle Eastern institution knocked Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) off pole position to fourth place for the first time in six years.

The rest of the top five is filled by the University of Luxembourg (second), University of Hong Kong (third) and University of Geneva (fifth).

Despite EPFL’s drop, Switzerland remains the most-represented country in the top 10, taking four places, while the UK has the deepest reservoir of outward-looking institutions in the top 200, claiming almost a third (64) of the positions, led by Imperial College London in 10th place. Australia comes a distant second with 24 institutions.

The ranking is compiled using the results of the “international outlook” indicator in the THE World University Rankings. This measure considers each institution’s proportion of international staff, proportion of international students and proportion of research papers published with at least one co-author from another country.

A breakdown of the data shows that the United Arab Emirates’ American University of Sharjahhas the highest proportion of international students (82 per cent), while the UK claims half the top 10 spots on this measure, including the London School of Economics (LSE) (70 per cent) in second place.

Hassan Rashid Al-Derham, president of Qatar University, said that the institution’s high proportion of international students and staff is mainly due to the “demographics of the Gulf region rather than an aggressive internationalisation strategy”, but its research papers score is the result of a strategy adopted by the state of Qatar aimed at “steering the country steadily towards a knowledge-based economy”.

North America may dominate the overall the overall World University Rankings but is conspicuous by its absence in this league table. Just 22 North American institutions feature in the most international top 200 (compared with 128 in Europe and 31 in Oceania), led by Canada’s University of British Columbia at number 40. MIT is the top US university in 90th place. Overall, 28 countries are represented in the top 200 list.

Top 10 most international universities in the world

  1. Qatar University, Qatar
  2. University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  3. University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  4. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  5. University of Geneva, Switzerland
  6. University of Macau, Macao
  7. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland
  8. University of St Gallen, Switzerland
  9. University of Singapore, Singapore
  10. Imperial College London, UK