World-Class Universities: Towards A Global Common Good and Seeking National and Institutional Contributions provides updated insights and debates on how world-class universities will contribute to the global common good and balance their global, national and local roles in doing so. In today’s world, it has become all too familiar for policymakers and higher education leaders to identify and define their ambitions and strategies in terms of a favourable global ranking for their universities/university. Both in terms of the overall ranking and the highest positions, the US and the UK are well represented. Japan and China are among the best represented countries in the ranking but they fall behind other nations, such as Germany and the Netherlands, for universities in the top 200.
One of the UK’s most prestigious universities has won for the fourth year in a row. The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the United Kingdom and one of the best known in the world. There are over 20,000 students at Oxford, with an almost equal number of undergraduate and postgraduate students. About 95 percent of Oxford graduates are employed or pursue postgraduate studies within six months of completing their studies. Admission is extremely competitive; on average, the university receives five applications for each location. The university employs staff from just under 100 different countries, and foreign citizens make up about 40 percent of the student body and academia.
The University of Cambridge operates a college system, as does the University of Oxford. Almost all of the 18,000 students belong to a college or hall, where they have the opportunity to live, study and sleep on site. There are 31 colleges and 150 university departments in Cambridge. The university has a long and prestigious history dating back to 1209, when academics from Oxford fled to Cambridge after clashes with locals. Many famous politicians, cultural figures, and scientists spent time in Cambridge, including Isaac Newton and John Harvard, who would go on to found Harvard University. Each college has unique traditions and all students register in an official ceremony upon arrival at the university.
Stanford spawned many start-ups and entrepreneurs and was partly responsible for the development of the surrounding Silicon Valley. Many students continue to achieve great things; 17 Nobel Prize winners are affiliated with Stanford. The large campus is home to 97% of undergraduates and nearly 700 university buildings, as well as museums, gardens and recreation centers. There are just under 7,000 undergraduates and 9,000 graduates at the university, with a student-to-staff ratio of 7: 1. Research at Stanford has a budget of $ 1.22 billion and more than 5,000 projects are funded externally.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in the mid-19th century and has always strived to provide financial aid to students on an as-needed basis. The very first architecture courses in the United States were taught at MIT. The first student, Ellen Swallow Richards, was admitted to the chemistry department in 1871. Barely two years later, the first international student – from Canada – graduated from MIT. The Cambridge, Massachusetts campus includes 18 student residences, numerous gardens, and public works of art. Admission to the university is extremely selective; only 8% of applicants obtained a place in the graduating class of 2019. Graduates are employed by large companies including Google, Amazon, and Apple.