Sometimes being the best in the country just doesn’t feel… impressive enough, which must be why the QS World University Rankings exist. If you’ve ever had the sneaking suspicion that Harvard isn’t quite as #1 as it seems to think it is, well, you were right; the top-ranking school in the world is, once again, Cambridge. (Rounding out the top 5: Harvard, MIT, Yale, and Oxford.) Baltimore’s very own Johns Hopkins is the 16th best school in the world, which sounds very nice indeed.
This year, the organization included a new and upsetting feature — well, upsetting if you’re paying for college in the U.S., that is — where you can compare international universities by both rank and tuition costs. #1 (Cambridge) costs around $15,000/year for domestic undergrads, and $5,000 (!) for post-grads. (No, that last figure is not missing a zero.) The #2 school, Harvard, runs around $39,000 for undergrads and $37,000 for post-grads. It’s enough to make you consider moving to England.
More sticker shock from survey organizers: “In Paris, École normale supérieure ENS, ranked 33rd, and Ecole Politechnique ranked 36th both offer undergraduate courses for less than a $1000 and Postgraduate courses for less than $8,000. In Germany, the highest ranked universities are; University of Heidelberg at 53rd and Technical University of Munich at 54th in the world, each charging less than $2000 for domestic and EU citizens.”