According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2008, the No. 1 university in Europe is Cambridge (UK), followed by Oxford (2nd), and UCL (3rd). A total of five UK universities ranked in the European Top 10. Swiss Fed Inst Tech - Zurich is the No. 1 institute in Switzerland , placed 4th regionally and 24th globally. France has two institutions ranked in the top 10 regionally: Univ Paris 06 (7th) and Univ Paris 11 (10th).

According to the rankings of Top European Universities by Webometrics, Cambridge is rated 1st in the region, followed by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich (2nd), Oxford (3rd), University of Helsinki (4th) and University of Oslo (5th). Five UK institutions made it to the Top 10 list in the region: Cambridge, Oxofrd, Edinburgh, UCL and Manchester.

Analysis of THES - QS Ranking of Top European Universities:

In the THES - QS World University Rankings, eight UK institutions ranked in the European Top 10 list in 2007, with Oxford and Cambridge ranked joint first in Europe, followed by Imperial College London (3rd in the region) and University College London (4th in the region). Two universities in France made it to the Top 10 rankings in the region: Ecole Normale Supérieure, PARIS (7th regionally) and École Polytechnique, France (8th regionally).

United Kingdom has the most number of universities rated in the Top 20 in Europe (11 UK institutions), followed by France, Netherlands and Germany with two institutions each.

The best universities in each European country are as follows:
  • University of Barcelona - 1st in Spain and 84th in Europe.
  • Univ of Copenhagen - 1st in Denmark and 33rd in Europe.
  • Heidelberg University - 1st in Germany and 16th in Europe.
  • University of Bologna - 1st in Italy and 71st regionally.
  • Ecole Normale Supérieure, PARIS - 1st in France and 7th regionally.
  • ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) - 1st in Switzerland and 11th regionally.
  • University of Amsterdam - 1st in Netherlands and 12th regionally.
  • Trinity College Dublin - 1st in Ireland and 13th regionally.
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World University Ranking Tables

America - US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, BusinessWeek
Canada - Maclean's, Gourman Report Ranking of Canadian Universities
UK - Sunday Times, Guardian, Times Good University Guide, Daily Telegraph
World - Shanghai Jiao Tong ARWU Rankings, Webometrics, Newsweek