The most international universities in the world 2023
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|Most International Rank 2023||Most International Rank 2022||World University Rank 2023||University||Country/region|
|1||1||31||University of Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|2||=3||41||École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne||Switzerland|
|4||NR||=99||City University of Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|5||=3||58||The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology||Hong Kong|
|6||NR||79||Hong Kong Polytechnic University||Hong Kong|
|7||=6||10||Imperial College London||United Kingdom|
|8||5||1||University of Oxford||United Kingdom|
|9||=6||=3||University of Cambridge||United Kingdom|
|10||8||19||National University of Singapore||Singapore|
Prospective students looking to study in the most international environments in the world should apply to universities in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore or the UK.
Universities, by their nature, are global institutions. Typically, they are home to communities of students and scholars from all over the world, and they tackle some of the globe’s most pressing problems through research.
This table – compiled using the international student score, the international staff score, the international co-authorship score and the international reputation metrics collected for the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 – shows that the above four countries and regions are home to some of the most international universities in the world.
These institutions all have a high proportion of international students and staff, collaborate on research with scholars from across the world, and have a strong global reputation to match. Read the full methodology at the bottom of the page.
Research suggests that diverse communities of students improve the teaching and learning experience, while opportunities for students to spend time abroad better prepare them to become global citizens.
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The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is one of the fastest-growing universities in the world.
More than a third of the student body is considered international, with at least 60 nationalities represented. About 80 per cent of the faculty come from overseas.
More than 45 per cent of students undertake an overseas exchange, and all four academic schools have their own exchange programmes. Some 70 per cent of students participate in internships overseas.
City University of Hong Kong is a public research university in Kowloon, Hong Kong. It was founded in 1984 as the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong, and it became a fully accredited university in 1994.
There are 10 colleges/schools: business, engineering, liberal arts and social sciences, science, veterinary medicine and life sciences, creative media, data science, energy and environment, law and graduate schools.
The university has more than 4,000 exchange partners in 44 countries and regions, and more than 1,200 CityU students participate in student exchange programmes each year.
3. ETH Zurich
It is no surprise that Switzerland is home to some of the most international universities in the world, given its location in the heart of Europe, surrounded by France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein.
ETH Zurich is located in Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, which is known for being very safe (although expensive). The primary spoken language is Swiss German, but the university also offers courses in English.
The institution has more than 22,000 students from over 120 countries and is the top university in continental Europe.
The university focuses on teaching and research in the STEM subjects, and 21 Nobel prizes have been awarded to students and teachers connected to the institution. One of the most famous alumni is Albert Einstein.
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2. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is also located in Switzerland. The university has more than 11,000 students, and 62 per cent are international.
EPFL is highly regarded for its research and teaching in engineering. More recently, the university has branched out into the life sciences.
Students at the institution are given numerous opportunities to participate in exchange programmes with other universities in Switzerland and abroad. The university also offers an internship scheme for students enrolled at other internationally acclaimed universities to spend up to three months at one of its campus laboratories.
The University of Hong Kong is the most international university in the world, according to THE World University Rankings data.
Overall, this Hong Kong university has more than 18,000 students, of whom more than 43 per cent are international.
Teaching at the institution is in English and education has an international focus, with the aim of preparing students to become global citizens who can succeed anywhere in the world.
The university has created a vision plan to become “Asia’s global university” that outlines all the measures the institution will take to expand its international outreach and to recruit more staff and students from overseas.
Most international universities in the world 2023
The data in Times Higher Education’s ranking of the World’s Most International Universities 2023 are drawn largely from the “international outlook” pillar of the THE World University Rankings 2023. This takes into account a university’s proportions of international students, international staff and journal publications with at least one international co-author. Each of these elements is given equal weighting in calculating the score for this pillar.
The table adds a fourth component, which makes up 25 per cent of the total score: a university’s international reputation. This is a measure of the proportion of votes from outside the home country that the institution achieved in THE’s annual invitation-only Academic Reputation Survey, which asks leading scholars to name the world’s best universities for teaching and research in their field.
Only institutions that received at least 300 votes in the survey were eligible for inclusion. Universities must also receive at least 150 or at least 10 per cent of available domestic votes to be ranked. Once universities are included in the international list, they are excluded only if they do not meet the vote thresholds for two years in a row.
Metrics and weightings:
• 25 per cent: proportion of international staff
• 25 per cent: proportion of international students
• 25 per cent: international co-authorship
• 25 per cent: international reputation
Editors note: As part of our THE statement on Ukraine published on 2 March 2022, Russian universities have been given less prominence in our rankings. Russian universities that met the criteria for this ranking are not displayed in the table above.
Explore the most international universities in the world using data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings