Are you looking for the most prestigious academic institution at which to pursue Computer Science? If so the latest ranking from Shanghai Jiao Tong University should help you.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has been published online since 2003 and has included information about specific STEM subjects, including Computer Science, since 2009. In total, more than 1200 universities were ranked in 2012 by ARWU and the best 500 are published on the web.
Although the initial purpose of ARWU was to find the global standing of top Chinese universities, it is respected and used across the world. A survey on higher education published by The Economist in 2005 described it as "the most widely used annual ranking of the world's research universities" and its methodology is considered to be scientifically sound, stable and transparent.
In its selection of universities, ARWU considers every university that has any Nobel Laureates, Fields Medalists, Highly Cited Researchers, or papers published in Nature or Science. In addition, universities with significant amount of papers indexed by Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) are also included. For the subject field rankings the percentage of papers published in the top 20% journals of each field is also taken into account.
Its finding are also fairly stable. For example Harvard University has been the top ranked university in all ten years since the ARWU first appeared. Harvard has never been top for Computer Science, however. Stanford, which has been ranked either 2 or 3 overall has consistently been top for Computer Science in all four years since subject field rankings
were introduced always followed by MIT in second place. Outside the USA, the University of Toronto in Canada has had a place in the top 12 each year and Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science has ranked 12 on average.
As well as browsing the tables of rankings you can find information about all the academic institutions included using a search facility with is also presented as drop-down list alphabetically by country. Additional information is provided describing each university, the number of students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs with the percentage of international students and the subjects in which masters degree and doctoral programs are offered. There are also satisfaction ratings from the point of view of both students and academic staff.
Perhaps surprisingly, the universities that come out top in terms of academic excellence are not necessarily the most popular from personal ratings.