The Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich is the best university in continental Europe and the 19th worldwide, according the latest Shanghai ranking of world universities. The top three spots were captured by Harvard, Stanford and UC Berkeley in the US. The University of Cambridge in the UK is ranked the best European university, coming in fourth place overall. All the universities to rank ahead of the ETH Zurich come from the US and the UK. The ETH Zurich is followed by the University of Tokyo to complete the top 20.
The ETH Zurich moved up one notch from 2015, though it had placed 19th two years ago. The university has been steadily moving up the ranking over the years, having come in 27th ten years ago.
The Shanghai ranking has been published annually since 2003. It compares universities according to six indicators, including the number alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals and the number of articles cited in scientific indices.