This is a ranking of the top 25 universities in the non-English speaking world ranked relative to each other by average world rank for the year 2020. In this ranking the “non-English speaking world” is defined as all countries excluding the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The ranking was created by using metadata sourced from the four prominent rankings of world universities (each ranking released in 2020): Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Times Higher Education (THE), and U.S. News & World Report (USNWR).

Rank was checked on each list for every university in the non-English speaking world ranked on all the lists. Then for each university all its rank placements were averaged across lists to create the new list of average ranking for each university. The universities were then ranked according to their average ranking. The university with the highest average is thus ranked 1st, the one with the second highest average 2nd, and so on.

Finally, the results were tabled, and are shown below (Figure 1). The leftmost column shows the final relative placement (relative placement based on average rank, i.e.), the “institution” column shows the institution ranked along with the flag of the country in which it is located, the next four rightward columns (ARWU, QS, THE, USNWR) show the rank for each given institution in each of those selected world rankings, and the rightmost column (“Average World Rank”) averages the four ranking lists’ rank placement for each university.

Some observations —

  • No list predicts the top 10.
  • Every list predicts ETH Zurich as 1st.
  • Germany is the most represented country in the top 10, with 3 universities.
  • China is the most represented country overall, with 5 universities.
  • No university outside Europe, China, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong or South Korea makes the list.

Finally, I want to note that Karolinska Institute (Sweden) averages 43 — good for 6th — between ARWU, THE, and USNWR. However, it is unranked by QS, and is thus left off the ranking. Additionally, Paris Sciences et Lettres University (France) averages ~44 — good for 6th (or 7th if Karolinska Institute is included) — between ARWU, QS, and THE. However, it is unranked by USNWR (though some of its subdivisions are, strangely, individually ranked), and is thus also left off the ranking.

If anything appears to be in error, please email me at

Ranking of Universities in the non-English Speaking World, 2020-21

RankInstitutionARWUQSTHEUSNWRAverage World Rank
1ETH Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)🇨🇭206142616.5
2Tsinghua University (清华大学) 🇨🇳 2915202823
3Peking University (北京大学) 🇨🇳4923235136.5
4National University of Singapore 🇸🇬 8011253237
5University of Tokyo (東京大学) 🇯🇵 2624367339.75
6Nanyang Technological University 🇸🇬 9113473847.25
7LMU Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) 🇩🇪5163324648
8Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne)🇨🇭8314435849.5
9Heidelberg University (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg) 🇩🇪5764425454.25
10Technical University of Munich (Technische Universität München) 🇩🇪5450417655.25
11University of Copenhagen (Københavns Universitet) 🇩🇰 3376843456.75
12Kyoto University (京都大学) 🇯🇵34385412562.75
13Sorbonne University (Sorbonne Université) 🇫🇷3983874363
14University of Zurich (Universität Zürich)🇨🇭5669736265
15University of Amsterdam (Universiteit van Amsterdam) 🇳🇱10161664067
16Catholic University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven) 🇧🇪9784454868.5
17University of Hong Kong (香港大學) 🇭🇰15122398373.75
17Chinese University of Hong Kong (香港中文大學) 🇭🇰10143569573.75
19Utrecht University (Universiteit Utrecht) 🇳🇱52121755475.5
20Seoul National University (서울대학교) 🇰🇷101376012981.75
21Shanghai Jiao Tong University (上海交通大学) 🇨🇳634710012283
22Zhejiang University (浙江大学) 🇨🇳58539413585
23University of Helsinki (Helsingin yliopisto) 🇫🇮74104988690.5
24Leiden University (Universiteit Leiden) 🇳🇱80128708691
24Fudan University (复旦大学) 🇨🇳100347016091
Figure 1.

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