Several universities from China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong have found place in the list but not a single institute from India has been picked. The MIT replaced Harvard and Cambridge to go to the top position. While Harvard remained at the top between 2004 and 2009 every year, Cambridge bagged the laurels in 2010 and 2011. Now, it was time for the MIT, which was in the 10th spot even five years ago, to win the crown.
Founded in 1861, the MIT has been known for path-breaking research in engineering, physics, mathematics and computer science.
Noam Chomsky, the institute's most noted faculty member, linguist and political activist, features among the top 10 most-referred scholars of all time. According to a report, the MIT succeeded to reach the top of the table this year mainly owing to its high-impact research and quite high proportion of academic staff.
The institute has also taken measures to internationalise its student and staff organisations, an area where it was comparatively weaker in the past. The University of Cambridge is in the second spot.
The MIT students benefit from intensive coaching and small class sizes, compared to the likes of Cambridge. The admission procedure is also rigorous with less than 10 per cent of the applicants getting through. MIT graduates are seen as the most-sought after academic clan in the world. The high standards of the institute were acknowledged in a poll of 25,000 employees.
The top-ranked institute, however, trails Cambridge and Harvard in terms of academic reputation. In the QS survey, it was seen that 46,000 academics across the world identified these two leading universities in their respective fields. The MIT, however, stands out in science and technology while the other two universities excel in several disciplines.