Some schools are great for poetry, while others are meant for partying. Some are designed for groundbreaking and world-changing research.
Reuters has posted their third-annual list of the most innovative universities, and a few familiar names sit above the rest. Stanford University, located right in Silicon Valley, tops the list for the third straight year. The number one rank is no surprise, as Stanford has continually been at the forefront of science and technology innovation for decades, producing founders of massive companies like Google, Intel and Netflix. Even the professor who created the basis of the internet itself was a Stanford alumni.
Coming in at second is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S. city of Cambridge. Harvard University, also in Cambridge, places third on the list of most innovative universities. These rankings have stayed the same over the past Reuters lists as well.
The biggest climb in the top 10 came from the University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia. It jumped four spots, from eighth overall in 2016 up to fourth in 2017.
The top 20 largely contains institutions located in the U.S. and Western Europe. The highest ranked non-U.S. school is KU Leuven, a 592-year-old university located in Leuven, Belgium. The two Asian universities in the top 20 are KAIST, a school in Daejeon, South Korea that ranks sixth and Pohang University of Science and Technology, also in South Korea and coming in at 14.
Other notable names from outside the U.S. that represent their country’s highest ranking school include the University of Tokyo in Japan at 21 and the University of Toronto in Canada at 46.
Of the top 100, 51 universities are North American, 26 are European, 20 are Asian and three are Middle Eastern.
To assemble a ranking, Reuters sought out Clarivate Analytics. They began by identifying more than 600 global organizations that publish the most academic research, from educational institutions to government-funded labs, then evaluated each candidate on 10 different metrics. The metrics focused on academic papers and patent filings, then ranked based on performance.
It’s important to note that these rankings are an averaged-out institutional number. There may be some departments at universities doing groundbreaking research but are overlooked due to the other departments lower innovation ranks.