The Academic Ranking of World Universities is compiled by the Jia Tong University in the Chinese city of Shanghai.
A number of factors are taken into consideration when judging universities. These include the number of Nobel prizes won by former students, the number of academic prizes won by professors at the university, the number of scientific papers published and the number of papers included in the Science Citation Index.
Three American universities top the list of the world’s top 500 universities. Harvard University is number with Stanford and Berkeley universities in second and third place respectively.
The University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom is fourth with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) completing the top 5.
The highest ranked university in a non-English-speaking country is the University of Zürich in Switzerland. Zürich University is 19th in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. The only two Belgian universities in the top 100 are the University of Ghent (62nd) and the University of Leuven (93rd).
Louvain-la-Neuve and the ULB (151-200), Antwerpen University, the VUB (201-300) and the University of Liège (301-400) also feature in the top 500.