World rankings: Top 10 universities in 2013

Britain's leading higher education publication, The Times Higher Education, released its annual global ranking of universities for 2013-2014. Here are the top 10 schools:

No. 2: University of Oxford and Harvard University

Elise Amendol/AP/File
People are led on a tour on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Aug. 30, 2012.

The University of Oxford is the top UK institution on the list and is tied for No. 2 for the second year in a row. Last year, it shared the honor with Stanford University. It's no surprise that an institution founded nine centuries ago as the first university in the English-speaking world is highly competitive: According to the university, Oxford receives, on average, more than five applications for each available place. The university's main library holds the papers of seven British Prime Ministers; a Gutenberg Bible; the earliest surviving book written wholly in English; and a quarter of the world’s original copies of the Magna Carta.

Harvard University, the oldest university in the United States, is on the rebound in the Times Higher Education ranking. It jumped from No. 4 last year to No. 2 this year. Harvard isn't lacking in accolades: Its $32 billion endowment is the largest of any university in the world, (and is bigger than the GDP of nearly half the world's countries), eight US presidents graduated from the university, and nearly 100 faculty or alumni are Nobel or Pulitzer Prize winners. 

8 of 9

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.