In the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities, the University of Zurich is placed 58th, putting it among the 100 best universities in the world. In Switzerland it ranks second-best, ahead of the University of Geneva, which slipped back seven places to 60th worldwide. ETH Zurich remains in 18th place as the best university in Continental Europe. Also ranked among the world’s 100 best universities are EPFL Lausanne (76th) and, for the first time, the University of Basel (95th).
US institutions dominate the top twenty of this ranking, as they do the other major university league tables: Harvard University comes first, followed by Stanford University in second place. The University of Cambridge in the UK ranks third.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities, which has been in existence since 2003, rates more than 1,000 institutions worldwide on the basis of factors including the number of Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists among alumni or employed researchers, papers published in Nature or Science, and Highly Cited Researchers at the university. In addition there is a single indicator that takes account of the size of universities by measuring the publication performance of teaching staff. Because of its methodology the ranking is very controversial. Nevertheless, it is one of the better-known rankings worldwide and enjoys a great response among the general public.