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Top universities in the world

The Hoover Tower is visible through trees on the Stanford University campus in Stanford, California.
The Hoover Tower is visible through trees on the Stanford University campus in Stanford, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Since 2003, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has produced the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) which analyzes the top universities in the world on quality of faculty (40%), research output (40%), quality of education (10%) and performance vs. size (10%). Its ranking is exclusively of research universities, mainly in the empirical sciences.

Stanford University ranked second behind Harvard University as the top universities in the world. UC Berkeley ranked third.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Harvard, Stanford and University of California Berkeley rank the top three universities in the world according to Jiao Tong University.

Starting from a decade ago, ARWU has been presenting the world Top 500 universities annually based on transparent methodology and reliable data. It has been recognized as the precursor of global university rankings and the most trustworthy one.

History of Shanghai Jiao Tong University

In 1896, Nanyang Public School was founded in Shanghai by an imperial edict issued by Guangxu Emperor, under the Business and Telegraphs Office of the imperial government. Four schools were established: the normal school, school of foreign studies, middle school and a high school. Sheng Xuanhuai, the mandarin responsible for proposing the idea to Guangxu Emperor, became the first president and was regarded as the founder of the university, with the assistance of John Calvin Ferguson, a missionary educator.

In 1904, the Ministry of Commerce took over the school, and one year later changed its name to Imperial Polytechnic College of the Commerce Ministry.

In 1906, the college was placed under the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs, and its name was changed to Shanghai Industrial College of the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs.

When the Republic of China was founded, the college was run by the Ministry of Communications and its name was once again changed, this time to Government Institute of Technology of the Communications Ministry.

In 1918, the republic government founded the School of Management and it became one of the oldest academic institutes.

In 1920, the institute merged with two other colleges and changed its name to Nan Yang College of Chiao Tung.

In the 1930s, it was well-renowned as the "Eastern MIT" due to its reputation of nurturing top engineers and scientists.

In 1938, the Ministry of Education took over the university and renamed as National Chiao Tung University. In 1943, the graduate school was founded.

By the time that the Japanese surrendered in 1945 neither the Communist Party of China (CPC) nor the Kuomintang KMT trusted each other or were actively cooperating. After American-sponsored attempts to negotiate a coalition government failed in 1946, the Chinese Civil War resumed. The CPC defeated the Nationalists in 1949, forcing Chiang's government to retreat to Taiwan. During the evacuation, a part of faculty and alumni was taken to Taiwan by Chiang Kai-shek, founding National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan in 1958.

After the Chinese Civil War, the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949. Chiao Tung lost its "National" appellation and became Chiao Tung University to reflect the fact that all universities under the new socialist state would be public.

In the 1950s, the pinyin romanization system was developed in Mainland China and Chiao Tung University changed its English name to Jiao Tong University.

From 1952, the Communist government adopted a policy of creating Soviet-style specialized schools, reshuffling nearly all universities and college to model on Soviet-style higher education. Under this policy, some faculties of the university were incorporated into other universities. At the same time, engineering faculties from outside were absorbed to become a specialized engineering university. An earthquaking rearrangement came in 1956 for the school when the central government ordered the university move to Xi'an in western Chinese province Shaanxi. Afterwards, 60% departments of the university moved to Xi'an, the remaining portion was officially renamed Shanghai Jiao Tong University, SJTU.

Shanghai Second Medical University was merged into Shanghai Jiao Tong University on July 18, 2005, under the name Medical School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Since the reform and opening up policy in China, SJTU has grown substantially. It is composed of five campuses, including Xuhui, Minhang, Luwan, Qibao, and Fahua, taking up an area of about 3,225,833 m2.

For students on the Central Coast, if they are wanting to attend a university that is ranked high for Physics, they are in luck because University of California Santa Cruz is one of the top universities, ranking in the top 50 world-wide for the study of Physics.

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