Top 10 Universities in the World (2009)

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10. University of Oxford

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The University of Oxford (informally Oxford University, or simply Oxford), located in the English city of Oxford, is the oldest surviving university in the English-speaking world and is regarded as one of the world's leading academic institutions. Although the exact date of foundation remains unclear, there is evidence of teaching there as far back as the 11th century. The University grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.

 

After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge, where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two "ancient universities" have many common features and are nowadays known as Oxbridge. In post-nominals the University of Oxford is typically abbreviated as Oxon. (from the Latin Oxoniensis), although Oxf is sometimes used in official publications.

 

Most undergraduate teaching at Oxford is organised around weekly essay-based tutorials at self-governing colleges and halls, supported by lectures and laboratory classes organised by University faculties and departments. League tables consistently list Oxford as one of the UK's best universities, and Oxford consistently ranks in the world's top 10. The University is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, the Coimbra Group, the League of European Research Universities, International Alliance of Research Universities and is also a core member of the Europaeum. For more than a century, it has served as the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, which brings students from a number of countries to study at Oxford as postgraduates.

 

9. Indiana University – System

Indiana

Founded in 1820 as the Indiana State Seminary and renamed the Indiana College in 1846, is a nine-campus university system in the state of Indiana.

 

As of fall 2008, the number of students at Indiana University is 101,727; many of these students study at the main Bloomington campus (40,354 students) and at IUPUI (30,300 students).

 

8. University of Cambridge

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The University of Cambridge (informally Cambridge University, or simply Cambridge), located in the City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, is the second oldest university in the English-speaking world and the fourth oldest in Europe. The name is sometimes abbreviated as Cantab. in post-nominals, a shortened form of Cantabrigiensis (an adjective derived from Cantabrigia, the Latinised form of Cambridge).

 

The university grew out of an association of scholars in the city of Cambridge that was formed, early records suggest, in 1209 by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk there. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge are often jointly referred to as "Oxbridge". In addition to cultural and practical associations as a historic part of British society, the two universities also have a long history of rivalry with each other.

 

Academically, Cambridge is consistently ranked in the world's top five universities and as a premier leading university in Europe by numerous media and academic rankings. The University's alumni include 85 Nobel Laureates as of 2009.

 

7. Yale University

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A private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, and a member of the Ivy League. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Yale has produced many notable alumni, including five U.S. presidents, nineteen U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and several foreign heads of state.

 

Incorporated as the Collegiate School, the institution traces its roots to 17th-century clergymen who sought to establish a college to train clergy and political leaders for the colony. In 1718, the College was renamed Yale College to honor a gift from Elihu Yale, a governor of the British East India Company. In 1861, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences became the first U.S. school to award the Ph.D.

Yale College was transformed beginning in the 1930s through the establishment of residential colleges, 12 of which now exist (but with two more planned). Almost all tenured professors teach undergraduate courses, more than 2,000 of which are offered annually.

 

The University's assets include a US $16.3 billion endowment , the second largest of any academic institution, and more than two dozen libraries that hold a total of 12.5 million volumes (making it one of the world's largest library systems). Yale and Harvard have been rivals in academics, athletics, and other activities for most of their history, competing annually in The Game and the Harvard-Yale Regatta. While Forbes Magazine ranked Yale 9th among US colleges, the university is consistently ranked among the top five universities in the world.

 

6. Purdue University

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Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six campuses within the Purdue University System. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and money from Lafayette businessman John Purdue to establish a college of science, technology, and agriculture in his name. The first classes were held on September 16, 1874, with three buildings, six instructors, and 39 students. Today, Purdue enrolls the second largest student body of any university in Indiana and has one of the largest international student populations of any public university in the United States. The university's Discovery Park and Purdue Research Park are home to hundreds of medical, biotechnology, and nanotechnology laboratories and companies. Purdue was the first university globally to have ever offered an aeronautics program .

 

Purdue offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in over 200 major areas of study. The university has been highly influential in America's history of aviation, having established the first college credit offered in flight training, the first four-year bachelor's degree in aviation, and the first university airport (Purdue University Airport). In the mid-20th century, Purdue's aviation program expanded to encompass advanced spaceflight technology giving rise to Purdue's nickname, Cradle of Astronauts.[8] Twenty-two of Purdue's graduates are astronauts, including Gus Grissom (one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts), Neil Armstrong (the first person to walk on the moon), and Eugene Cernan (the most recent person to walk on the moon).

 

5. Cornell University

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Cornell University (pronounced /kɔrˈnɛl/) is a private university located in Ithaca, New York, USA, that is a member of the Ivy League.

 

Cornell was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White as a coeducational, non-sectarian institution where admission was offered irrespective of religion or race. Its founders intended that the new university would teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's motto, an 1865 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."

 

Following the spirit of its motto, Cornell offers a curriculum in traditional liberal arts studies as well as in fields like engineering, agriculture, hotel administration, and city and regional planning. The university is organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus, with each college and division defining its own academic programs in near autonomy. Cornell is one of two private land grant universities, and its seven undergraduate colleges include four state-supported statutory or contract colleges. The university also administers two satellite medical campuses, one in New York City and one in Education City, Qatar.

 

Cornell counts more than 255,000 living alumni, 28 Rhodes Scholars and 41 Nobel laureates affiliated with the university as faculty or students. The student body consists of over 13,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students from all fifty states and one hundred and twenty-two countries.

 

4. University of California, Berkeley

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The University of California, Berkeley (also referred to as Cal, California, Berkeley, and UC Berkeley), is a public research university located in Berkeley, California, United States. The oldest of the ten major campuses affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley offers some 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The university occupies 6,651 acres (2,692 ha) with the central campus resting on approximately 200 acres (80.9 ha).

 

The University was founded in 1868 in a merger of the private College of California and the public Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College. Berkeley was a founding member of the Association of American Universities. Sixty-five Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the university as faculty, researchers, or alumni.

 

The Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked UC Berkeley 3rd internationally, while Newsweek and Webometrics placed Berkeley 5th in the World. According to the National Research Council, 35 of 36 of the university's graduate programs rank in the top 10 in their respective fields, and in the US News and World Report graduate school survey, Berkeley is the only university to achieve top 5 rankings in all of the Ph.D. disciplines covered.

 

Berkeley physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was the scientific director of the Manhattan Project which he personally headquartered at Los Alamos, New Mexico, during World War II. Since that time, the university has managed or co-managed the Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as its later rival, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Cal student-athletes compete intercollegiately as the California Golden Bears. A member of both the Pacific-10 Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in the NCAA, Cal students have won national titles in many sports, including football, men's basketball, baseball, men's gymnastics, softball, water polo, rugby, and crew. In addition, they have won over 100 Olympic medals. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are Yale Blue and California Gold.

 

3. Harvard University

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Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a member of the Ivy League. Founded in 1636 by the colonial Massachusetts legislature, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is also the first and oldest corporation in North America. Harvard University is made up of ten schools.

Initially called "New College" or "the college at New Towne", the institution was renamed Harvard College on March 13, 1639. It was named after a young clergyman named John Harvard, who bequeathed the College his library of four hundred books and £779 (which was half of his estate). The earliest known official reference to Harvard as a "university" occurs in the new Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.

During his 40-year tenure as Harvard president (1869–1909), Charles William Eliot radically transformed Harvard into the pattern of the modern research university. Eliot's reforms included elective courses, small classes, and entrance examinations. The Harvard model influenced American education nationally, at both college and secondary levels.

 

Harvard is consistently ranked at or near the top of international college and university rankings, and has the second-largest financial endowment of any non-profit organization (behind the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), standing at $28.8 billion as of 2008. Harvard and Yale have been rivals in academics, rowing, and football for most of their history, competing annually in The Game and the Harvard-Yale Regatta.

 

2. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

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The National Autonomous University of Mexico (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) (UNAM) is a public university based primarily in Mexico City and generally considered to be the largest one-campus university in the Americas in terms of student population. Founded on 22 September 1910 by Justo Sierra as a liberal alternative to the Roman Catholic-sponsored Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico (founded on September 21, 1551 by a royal decree of Charles I of Spain and brought to a definitive closure in 1867 by the liberals), it is the only university in Mexico with Nobel Prize laureates among its alumni: Alfonso García Robles (Peace), Octavio Paz (Literature), and Mario Molina (Chemistry).

 

It also generates a number of different publications in diverse areas, such as mathematics, physics and history.

 

UNAM's autonomy, granted in the 1920s, has given it the freedom to define its own curriculum and manage its own budget without interference from the government. This has had a profound effect on academic life at the university, which some claim it boasts academic freedom and independence.

 

Besides being one of the most recognized universities in Latin America, it is one of the largest and the most artistically detailed. Its main campus is a World Heritage site that was designed by some of Mexico's best-known architects of the 20th century. Murals in the main campus were painted by some of the most recognized artists in Mexican history, such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

 

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological research. MIT is one of two private land-grant universities and is also a sea-grant and space-grant university.

 

Founded by William Barton Rogers in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, the university adopted the German university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Its current 168-acre (68.0 ha) campus opened in 1916 and extends over 1 mile (1.6 km) along the northern bank of the Charles River basin. MIT researchers were involved in efforts to develop computers, radar, and inertial guidance in connection with defense research during World War II and the Cold War. In the past 60 years, MIT's educational programs have expanded beyond the physical sciences and engineering into social sciences like economics, philosophy, linguistics, political science, and management.

 

MIT enrolled 4,172 undergraduates, 6,048 postgraduate students, and employed 1,008 faculty members in the 2007/08 school year. Its endowment and annual research expenditures are among the largest of any American university. 73 Nobel Laureates, 47 National Medal of Science recipients, and 31 MacArthur Fellows are currently or have previously been affiliated with the university.

 

The Engineers sponsor 33 sports, most of which compete in the NCAA Division III's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference; the Division I rowing programs compete as part of the EARC and EAWRC. While students' irreverence is widely acknowledged due to the traditions of constructing elaborate pranks and engaging in esoteric activities, the aggregated revenues of companies founded by MIT affiliates would make it the seventeenth largest economy in the world.

 

Source: wiki

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