The influx of international students into Europe for higher education is on the increase; with world-class institutions and state-of-the-art facilities, Europe continues to place emphasis on creativity and innovation in learning. If you’re looking to study in Europe, attending any amongst the best universities in Europe in 2020 would be ideal.

This analysis is strictly based on The Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data. Here’s a quick look at the institutions that made the top 6 this year:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • Imperial College London
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich
  • University College London- UCL
  • London School of Economics and Political Science

From the list above, we can see that the United Kingdom and Switzerland are dominating. Let’s find out what makes these countries and their institutions stand out.

1. University of Oxford- UK

Oxford is the oldest university in the English speaking world and the 2nd oldest surviving university in the world. The university comprises 44 colleges and halls with over 100 libraries, making it the largest library system in the UK. It cites particular prowess in the sciences and ranked #1 in the world for medicine recently. Its alumni include 120 Olympic medallists, 26 Nobel Prize winners, 7 poets laureate, and over 30 modern world leaders.

2. University of Cambridge- UK

Its 800-year history makes it the 4th oldest surviving university in the world and the 2nd oldest in the English speaking world. It has 6 schools spread across the university’s colleges including Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine. Others are Humanities and Social Sciences, Physical Sciences and Technology. About 92 affiliates of the university have been awarded Nobel Prizes in every category and it has an endowment valued at nearly £6 billion.

3. Imperial College London- UK

As the 3rd of the best universities in Europe, it is the only university in the UK to focus entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business. The institution boasts of 14 Nobel Prize winners, including Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. It invests £13 million in new grants for research in all 4 faculties and works with the EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. This is to discuss ways of strengthening European research ties.

4. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich- Switzerland

ETH Zurich is considered among some of the world’s most prestigious universities in science and technology. This is all thanks to its strong ties with researchers, foreign partners and key stakeholders who support its cutting-edge research. It is worthy of note that it has produced over 20 Nobel Prize Laureates, including the father of modern physics and the inventor of the general theory of relativity Albert Einstein.

5. University College London, UCL- UK

UCL was founded in 1826 to bring higher education to those who were typically excluded from it. Interestingly, throughout its history, UCL has been the birthplace of numerous significant scientific discoveries. This includes the discovery of noble gases by William Ramsay, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904. Equally interesting is the fact that in 1878, it became the first university in England to admit women on equal terms as men. It ranks as the 5th of the best universities in Europe.

6. London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE- UK

LSE is one of the foremost social science universities in the world. It specialises in a wide range of social science disciplines, including economics, politics, sociology, law and anthropology. The LSE boasts associations with 16 Nobel Prize winners and counts 37 past or present world leaders among its alumni. Bertrand Russell received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, recognising his writing on ‘humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought’.

It’s been quite a journey through time and history, hasn’t it? Now you know why each school stands out and why the UK and Switzerland are the crowns of the rankings. Want to know more? Why not gain first-hand knowledge by joining the league of international students.  

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