MIT Tops World University Rankings It beats Cambridge, Harvard to first place By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Sep 12, 2012 2:03 AM CDT Updated Sep 12, 2012 2:14 AM CDT 3 comments Comments The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Stata Center in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/ Bizuayehu Tesfaye) (Newser) – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has soared to the top of world university rankings for the first time, knocking Britain's University of Cambridge into second place and Harvard into third, the Guardian reports. University College London, Oxford University, Imperial College, Yale, University of Chicago, Princeton, and Caltech also made the top 10 of the QS World University Rankings, which are based on factors including research quality, teaching, and the proportion of foreign students and academics. The only new entry in the top 20 was the University of Toronto, while the highest-ranked institution outside North America and Europe was the University of Hong Kong, which ranked 23rd. An increase in academic citations and foreign academics helped MIT move up from 10th place in 2007 to first place. Its fellow Cambridge, Massachusetts, institution, Harvard, topped the rankings every year between 2004 and 2009, and still ranks first among academics and employers polled by QS.