The Massachusetts Institute of Technology takes the top spot of the 2015/16 QS World University Rankings, with a perfect score of 100 out of 100.

The ranking analyses the performance of more than 800 of the world’s universities based on six key performance indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, student-to-faculty ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.

150917-best universities forum chart

MIT is followed by Harvard in second place, two places higher than last year. The University of Cambridge and Stanford take joint third place – a fall of one place for the British institution, but a rise of four places for the California-based university. All three scored in excess of 98.5 this year.

The changes in position since the 2014/15 rankings are largely caused by a change in the way the scores are calculated: they now take into account the different levels of citations in various faculty areas. QS says this has made the ranking more balanced.

The 2015/16 top 10 is almost entirely comprised of American and British institutions, with the duopoly broken only by ETH Zurich in ninth place.

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Author: Joe Myers is a Digital Content Producer at Formative Content. 

Image: Graduating senior Indiana Seresin blows bubbles before the 364th Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 28, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder