Top 10 Technology Schools Worldwide
Gigabit examines the world’s top ten universities for technology and engineering, as ranked by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a worldwide education evaluation publication.
10 | Tsinghua University
Located in Beijing, and a member of China’s elite C9 league of universities, Tsinghua is a state-owned institution, currently with 36,000 attendees. Established in 1911, in the wake of the Boxer rebellion, the school initially functioned as a preparatory school for Chinese students intending to study in the United States. Now, Tsinghua is one of China’s leading research facilities, championing Tsinghua graduates by funding startups through its venture capital firm Tsinghua Holdings. According to the South China Morning Post, the firm backs “investments in areas spanning mobile internet, cloud computing to nuclear energy, waste water treatment and medical services” and provides special consideration and support to its alumni.
9 | University of Oxford
The oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford is comprised of 44 colleges, hosts the largest library in the country, and is attended by 22,000 students. Oxford’s reputation in the sciences is such that, according to Times Higher Education, if its school of sciences separated from the university of the whole, it would remain a top ten university worldwide. Similarly to Tsinghua, students of science, technology, and engineering at Oxford have post-graduate access to university-owned institution, Oxford Innovation, which “has spun off 150 businesses and files more patents than any other UK university.”
8 | The University of Tokyo
Established in 1877, according to QS, the University of Tokyo is among Japan’s most prestigious academic institutions. “In 2011, the university was ranked second in the world behind Harvard for the number of alumni in CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies.” The university is attended by over 27,000 students. U-Tokyo’s post-grad technology courses focus primarily on Information Technology, stating that its program is working to “lay the foundations for core science and technology in the field of informatics, while at the same time forging a base for international exchange in cutting-edge information science and technology.”
7 | The National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore is the country’s flagship university, emphasising an Asian perspective across a “broad-based curriculum underscored by multi-disciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment,” according to QS. The University’s Master of Science degree is currently focused on marrying Research and Development with market and consumer applications. Also, QS reports, the University’s latest research focus is to use data sciences, optimisation research and cyber security to support Singapore's Smart Nation initiative.
6 | Imperial College London
Founded in 1907, Imperial College London is unique within the United Kingdom, being the nation’s only public research university focused entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business. ICL is one of the most diverse universities in the world, with 59% of its 16,000 students originating from outside the UK. According to Russell Group, ICL “achieved one of the best results in the most recent assessment of research quality in UK universities: 46% of its research was rated world-leading, with a further 44% rated internationally excellent.”
5 | Nanyang Technological University
Founded in 1981 as the Nanyang Technological Institute (renamed the Nanyang Technological University in 1991), NTU is the youngest university in the top ten. QS has ranked it first on its list of best young universities for five consecutive years. The university is attended by 33,000 students and, according to QS, offers engineering, science, business, humanities, arts, social sciences, and education, and has a joint medical school with Imperial College London. The NTU has been ranked as the top university worldwide for Artificial Intelligence, and “has partnerships with the world’s leading technology companies such as Alibaba, Rolls-Royce, BMW, Volvo, Delta Electronics, and Singtel.”
4 | ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Established in 1855, as the Federal Polytechnic School, ETH Zurich is Switzerland’s premier research institute of Science and Technology research. 18,000 students attend ETH Zurich, and the institute counts 20 Nobel Prize winners among its alumni. According to QS, “education at ETH Zurich is more about theory than its practical application, and most degree programs contain mathematical training.” Additionally, the university is in the process of opening a Robotics and Mobility hub, in order to further its research into self-driving transportation and support graduate spin-off projects.
3 | University of Cambridge
Comprised of 31 colleges, many located in listed buildings along the River Cam, the University of Cambridge plays host to over 18,000 students. Founded in 1209, Cambridge is the fourth-oldest university in the world. The university’s Technology department plays a central role in the Cambridge Cluster, which is now “Europe's largest technology cluster,” according to a University press release. 57,000 people are employed in the Cluster, which generates an annual revenue of $17 bn. Currently, “more than 1,000 IP licensing, consultancy and equity contracts are … under management by Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation group.”
2 | Stanford University
Located between San Francisco and San Jose, Stanford University was established in 1885 by California senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane, according to QS. The university is in the center of Silicon Valley, and has strong links with tech giants Yahoo, Google, and Hewlett-Packard, all of which were founded by Stanford graduates. The university also works in tandem with the Stanford Technology Ventures program: an associated body of professors working from the Stanford technology park. The program provides Stanford technology students with expertise, advice, and funding in order to support spin-off companies by graduates and students.
1 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Founded in 1861, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has grown into the preeminent university for technological education and research in the world. According to QS: “MIT researchers are at the forefront of developments in artificial intelligence, climate adaptation, HIV, cancer, and poverty alleviation.” Past breakthroughs and discoveries at the Institute also included “the development of radar, the invention of magnetic core memory and the concept of the expanding universe.” Currently, MIT is investing in the future of low/neutral carbon energy. The MIT Energy Initiative is working in the fields of “carbon capture, utilization, and storage; electric power systems; energy bioscience; energy storage; materials in energy and extreme environments; advanced nuclear energy systems; and solar energy” to “develop deployable solutions that can meet global energy needs sustainably.”