The Times Higher Education World University Rankings' Arts and Humanities table judges world class universities across all of their core missions - teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The ranking of the world's top 50 universities for arts and humanities employs 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available, which are trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.

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Top 50 arts and humanities universities

Rank Institution Location Overall score
1 Harvard University United States
85.9
2 Stanford University United States
84.3
3 Princeton University United States
84.0
4 University of Chicago United States
83.4
5 University of Oxford United Kingdom
81.9
6 Columbia University United States
81.7
6 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
81.7
8 University of California, Berkeley United States
80.3
9 Yale University United States
80.0
10 University College London (UCL) United Kingdom
79.8
11 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) United States
79.6
12
University of Toronto
Canada
79.5
13 University of Michigan United States
78.6
14 Australian National University Australia
77.8
15 New York University (NYU) United States
77.2
16 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
73.6
17 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey United States
72.4
18 University of Pittsburgh United States
72.0
19 Cornell University United States
68.9
20 University of St Andrews United Kingdom
68.3
21 McGill University Canada
66.9
22 University of Melbourne Australia
66.3
23 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States
66.1
23 University of Pennsylvania United States
66.1
25 University of Sydney Australia
64.8
26 London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) United Kingdom
64.3
27 Duke University United States
63.8
29 University of Manchester United Kingdom
60.1
29 Brown University United States
60.1
31 Lancaster University United Kingdom
59.9
31 Indiana University United States
59.9
33 University of Notre Dame United States
59.2
34 Leiden University Netherlands
58.7
34 Freie Universität Berlin Germany
58.7
36 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Germany
58.6
37 University of Massachusetts United States
58.3
37 KU Leuven Belgium
58.3
39 University of Amsterdam Netherlands
58.0
40 King's College London United Kingdom
57.6
41 University of California, Santa Barbara United States
57.5
42 Georgetown University United States
57.1
43 University of Birmingham United Kingdom
56.9
44 University of Warwick United Kingdom
55.4
45 University of California, San Diego United States
54.7
46 Northwestern University United States
54.5
47 University of Arizona United States
54.4
48 Tilburg University Netherlands
53.9
49 University of Auckland New Zealand
53.8
50 University of Southern California United States
53.0
50 Durham University United Kingdom
53.0

Creating free thinkers and global citizens

28th October 2010

Harvard University tops the arts and humanities subject ranking in a year in which its president, Drew Gilpin Faust, called on higher education institutions across the globe to protect the discipline from budget cuts.

In a speech at the Royal Irish Academy in July, Faust pointed to China as a country that is expanding its humanities output while many others are cutting provision in favour of science-based subjects.

Although not a single Asian university made the top 50 in arts and humanities for 2010-11, it is possible that investment in the field by Chinese institutions will pay off in the rankings in the years to come.

The only institution to break the European and North American monopoly over the top 20 is the Australian National University (14th place). The top-ranked institution in continental Europe is Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands (founded in 175). Leiden - whose mottoe translates as "Bastion of Liberty" - was established on the principles of "freedom of belief and religion", creating an environment in which the philosophers Spinoza and Descartes thrived.

A nunber of leading universities are priortising investment in liberal arts, both to meet employers' demands and to create well-rounded graduates and global citizens able to think on their feet.

University College London, in 10th place, is planning to launch a liberal arts degree in 2012.