The California Institute of Technology topped Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the third consecutive year, besting Oxford, Harvard, Stanford and MIT, which rounded out the top five. The rankings are based on "13 carefully calibrated performance indicators," which are grouped into five areas. Here's the short version. (There's a deeper discussion of the methodology here.)
Teaching: the learning environment (worth 30 per cent of the overall ranking score)
Research: volume, income and reputation (worth 30 per cent)
Citations: research influence (worth 30 per cent)
Industry income: innovation (worth 2.5 per cent)
International outlook: staff, students and research (worth 7.5 per cent).
The US dominates the rankings of the top 200 schools, with 77 making the list. US schools also account for seven of the top 10. Other publications have their own "carefully calibrated performance indicators." Just last month the Guardian published its own list of university rankings, which placed MIT on top.