The United States boasts the highest number of top-10 programmes (256) in the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, followed by the United Kingdom with 145 and Switzerland with 32.
US universities lead in 32 subjects, with Harvard University ranking first in 14 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 11.
British universities take the top spot in 14 subjects, with the University of Oxford leading in four, while the University of Cambridge, UCL and the Royal College of Art lead in two each.
Canada’s University of Toronto boasts the most top-50 subjects in the world, with 48.
The rankings, released by global higher education analyst QS Quacquarelli Symonds last week, rank the top universities in 54 academic disciplines, including three new additions: data science, marketing and history of art.
They are based on an independent comparative analysis of over 15,700 individual university programmestaken by students at1,594 universities in93 countries and territories.
Described by QS as the “largest student-oriented subject rankings”, it consists of five indicators: academic and employer reputation based on a global survey of 151,000 academics and 99,000 employers, research citations per paper, H-index and international research network.
Drew MacFarlane, QS rankings manager, writing in QS magazine, said this year 769 institutions find themselves with entries in subject and faculty areas they have not previously achieved a ranking in.
“The United States, UK and China (mainland) are the top three countries [by] volume of new programme entries. China (mainland) is also the top location for the number of new institutions ranked for the first time in our subject ranking, with nine new institutions, followed by India (seven), the UK (six) and Ukraine (six).
The US and the UK continue to appear in the majority of the subject top 10s.
In continental Europe, ETH Zurich is the top university, achieving number-one spots in three subjects. Switzerland ranks first in four academic disciplines, while the Netherlands leads two and Italy one.