Harvard University is the best university in North America

Harvard University is the best university in North America according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The ARWU is published by the Institute of Higher Education at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University and several indicators of academic or research performance are used to establish the ranking, these include highly cited researchers, articles indexed in major citation indices and staff winning Nobel Prizes. There are 190 universities located in North America in the Word’s Top-500 universities (2008). The Top-5 universities in North America are:

1. Harvard University (ranked 1st in the world);
2. Stanford University (ranked 2nd);
3. University of California – Berkeley (3rd);
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (5th); and
5. “> California Institute of Technology (6th). All of the Top-5 universities are located in the United States (US) and it is striking that they are all located in only two States (California (3) and Massachusetts (2)).

An earlier analysis of the World’s Top-500 universities revealed that 36% of the US universities were located in just five States: New York (15), California (13), Texas (13), Massachusetts (9) and Pennsylvania (7) (click here). Harvard University was established in 1636 and is the oldest institution of higher learning university in the US. It is a private institution with an annual budget of $3.2 billion (2007). It has been the top-university in North America (and the world) in every year since 2003 (when the ARWU was first published). The total number of students at Harvard is about 20,000: roughly 6,700 undergraduates and 12,300 graduate and professional students. There are nine faculties (e.g. the Harvard Business School and the Faculty of Medicine) with about 1,900 faculty members and more than 10,000 academic appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals. Harvard University has the world’s largest university endowment ($36.9 billion in 2008). The endowment is a very important source of income, contributing more than one third ($1.6 billion) of the university’s operating budget in 2008

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