Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has released its 2025 global universities ranking, featuring over 1,500 institutions across 105 higher education systems.

Unfortunately, no Nigerian university made the top 1000 list. However, the University of Ibadan and the University of Lagos ranked between 1100-1200.

The United States leads with 197 ranked institutions, followed by the United Kingdom (90) and mainland China (71).

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) tops the list for the 13th consecutive year, followed by Imperial College London, the University of Oxford, Harvard University, and the University of Cambridge.

QS evaluates institutions based on academic excellence, reputation, and global diversity. This ranking highlights the need for Nigerian universities to improve their global competitiveness.

Here are the top ten universities in the QS world university rankings 2025

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US 

2. Imperial College London, UK 

3. University of Oxford, UK 

4. Harvard University, US 

5. University of Cambridge, UK 

6. Stanford University, US 

7. ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland 

8. National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore 

9. University College London, UK 

10. California Institute of Technology (Caltech), US 

Notably, Imperial College London has moved up four places – the biggest improvement among the top ten.  Their progress is attributed to several factors, including their improvement in the ‘Sustainability’ category, (scoring 99.7 out of 100 overall) and in various research metrics including ‘Citations per faculty’, which they earned 86.5 last year, compared to a total of 93.9 this year, for example. 

New entrants 

There are 21 newly ranked institutions in the QS World University Rankings 2025, with the highest debutant being the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) in the United Arab Emirates, with a ranking of 485th – the University scored 100 in indicators ‘International students’ and ‘International faculty’. 

China and India’s universities have seen the biggest upward movements for both the number of institutions increasing their ranking position and for the number of significant moves (defined as 10 places or more) in the QS World University Rankings 2025.

Other highlights in institutional performance globally are: 


The UK’s strongest performance is in the ‘International Student Ratio’ indicator. It achieves the world’s second-highest average score among countries with ten or more ranked universities, behind only Saudi Arabia – underscoring the global appeal of UK higher education institutions and their ability to attract a diverse student body. 


The US continues to boast one of the world’s most renowned higher education systems for their reputation, according to employers and academics – this is clear in the ranking as four of the top ten universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley (UCB) earn 100 in the ‘Academic reputation’ indicator. 


Canadian universities are performing exceptionally in ‘Sustainability’, with two universities among the world’s top five, including the world’s most sustainable institution, the University of Toronto. 


Three Australian institutions are in the world’s top 20 – with the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney each climbing one position to 13th and 18th respectively. Australia also dominates in ‘International research’ in the Asia-Pacific region, claiming nine of the top 10 positions. 


South Africa holds the African continent’s top four positions in the rankings – with the University of Cape Town (ranked 171st) being the continent’s highest-ranked institution, an improvement of two places from the previous year. Cairo University (Egypt) completed the top five in Africa, ranking 350th globally. 

Latin America 

Latin America has four representatives in the top 100, one from each of its four largest economies: Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) in Argentina (71st); Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil (92nd); Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC) in Chile (93rd); and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico (94th).

Click the link below to see the full ranking.


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