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Top universities

with the best

student-to-staff ratio 2020

Nice to see Japan doing so well! 

Data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings reveal the top universities with the best student-to-staff ratios


A lower student-to-staff ratio can help students to cultivate closer relationships with their lecturers, have quicker access to essay feedback, and get involved in more interactive seminars and discussions.

Times Higher Education has created this table to show which universities have the best student-to-staff ratios in the world as a way to help students work out which universities could be best placed to provide this type of learning environment.

The list has been compiled using data from the latest THE World University Rankings. As part of the rankings, THE collects information on the number of staff and students at each university, and from this we can calculate the student-to-staff ratio. The full methodology of the World University Rankings can be found here. The table below shows the number of students per member of staff for each university.

All the top five universities are specialist medical institutions. As these universities combine practical experience alongside theoretical learning, it may be that they require more staff to support this teaching structure.

It is also the case that many specialist universities have smaller student bodies, with higher numbers of teaching staff and faculty. However, some institutions on this list – such as Johns Hopkins University and Duke University – have large student populations (about 15,000 each), so this isn’t always the case.

Japan dominates the list, with 38 universities featured. The US comes in second with 21 universities. The rest of the top 100 features universities from Russia, Brazil, France, India and China. Noticeably, universities based in the UK are absent from the top 100.

The top five universities with the best student-to-staff ratio

Scroll down to see the full table

=1. Nippon Medical School

Nippon Medical School is a private medical school in Tokyo. It is the oldest private medical university in Japan, having been founded in 1876.

The university has two campuses. Musashisakai is about 40 minutes west of the city centre and is where first-year undergraduate students take courses in basic sciences and liberal arts.

For the second year through to the sixth year, medical training takes place at the Sendagi campus, which is much closer to central Tokyo and nearby to the university hospital. Sendagi is also home to the university’s graduate school and its International Exchange Centre.

=1. Jikei University School of Medicine

Jikei University School of Medicine is a private university in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The word “jikei” means “mercy and love” in Japanese.

With 2,700 beds and 7,500 outpatients a day, Jikei University Hospitals is considered one of the largest educational hospital systems in the country. The university also has an international exchange programme with King’s College London and the University of Leeds.

Jikei has four university hospitals – Katsushika Medical Center, Daisan Hospital in Chofu Komae, the Kashiwa Hospital in Chiba and the Jikei University School of Medicine Triton Clinic in Harumi.

=3. St Marianna University School of Medicine

Founded in 1971, St Marianna University School of Medicine is Japan’s only medical university with a Christian ethos, as it is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

In addition to medical studies, the institution offers a degree in comparative religious studies.

The curriculum consists of initial practical training in the first three years and clinical clerkship in the latter three years.

The university is the first in Asia to be approved as a medical centre for the FIFA world soccer association, as the medical provider for the Japan national football team.

=3. Oregon Health and Science University

Oregon Health and Science University is a public university with a main campus and two hospitals in Portland, Oregon, US. It was founded in 1887.

The institution offers degree programmes in dentistry, medicine and nursing. It is a functioning hospital, simultaneously treating patients, training healthcare professionals and conducting important healthcare research.

Oregon Health and Science University is also one of the largest employers in the state, and has launched many community programmes to improve the health of Oregon’s residents.

The university’s Knight Cancer Institute helped to pioneer medicine through a discovery that identified how to shut down cells that enable cancer to grow without harming healthy ones. The Brain Institute scientists are nationally recognised for discoveries that have led to a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Kansai Medical University

Kansai Medical University is a private medical university located in the city of Moriguchi, near the town of Osaka, Japan. It was founded in 1928, when the Osaka Women’s Medical College was established, but it wasn’t chartered until 1947. It became co-educational in 1954 and adopted its current name.

The university is affiliated with four hospitals: the KMU Kori Hospital, KMU Medical Centre, KMU University Hospital and Kansai Medical University Temmabashi General Clinic.

It also offers a number of graduate programmes across many areas including stem cell pathology, psychosomatic medicine, radiology, paediatrics and dermatology.

The top 100 universities with the best student-to-staff ratio Student- to-staff ratio rank 2020Student- to-staff ratio rank 2019UniversityCountry/regionNumber of students per one member of staff=1=44Nippon Medical SchoolJapan0.9=11Jikei University School of MedicineJapan0.9=3NRSt Marianna University School of MedicineJapan1.0=32Oregon Health and Science UniversityUnited States1.053Kansai Medical UniversityJapan1.16=5Saitama Medical UniversityJapan1.57=5Tokyo Medical UniversityJapan1.6=87Hyogo College of MedicineJapan2.0=84Rush UniversityUnited States2.0108Showa UniversityJapan2.1119University of Nebraska Medical CenterUnited States2.312NRUniversity of Occupational and Environmental Health, JapanJapan2.613NROsaka Medical CollegeJapan2.71410Aichi Medical UniversityJapan2.815=11Vanderbilt UniversityUnited States3.016NRShiga University of Medical ScienceJapan3.117=11Fujita Health UniversityJapan3.2=1813Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)Japan3.3=18=15Nara Medical UniversityJapan3.320NRKyoto Prefectural University of MedicineJapan3.42114Sapporo Medical UniversityJapan3.5=22=18Hamamatsu University School of MedicineJapan3.8=22=18Juntendo UniversityJapan3.8=2421Wake Forest UniversityUnited States4.0=24=23Emory UniversityUnited States4.026=23University of RochesterUnited States4.2=27NRMedical University of InnsbruckAustria4.3=27=25University of CopenhagenDenmark4.3=27NRAcıbadem UniversityTurkey4.3=27=25Duke UniversityUnited States4.3=31=29Johns Hopkins UniversityUnited States4.5=3117Yokohama City UniversityJapan4.5=31=25Swedish University of Agricultural SciencesSweden4.534NRState University of Santa CruzBrazil4.73520Bauman Moscow State Technical UniversityRussian Federation4.83632National Yang-Ming UniversityTaiwan5.137=29L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National UniversityKazakhstan5.3=3833Yale UniversityUnited States5.4=3834Kitasato UniversityJapan5.4=40NRTélécom ParisFrance5.6=40NRUfa State Aviation Technical UniversityRussian Federation5.6=40=29Al-Farabi Kazakh National UniversityKazakhstan5.6=43=42University of ChicagoUnited States5.7=4337École PolytechniqueFrance5.7=4541Columbia UniversityUnited States5.8=45=39University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campusUnited States5.847=42University of LeobenAustria5.948=48Novosibirsk State UniversityRussian Federation6.2=49NRUniversity of Technology, IraqIraq6.3=4938Pirogov Russian National Research Medical UniversityRussian Federation6.3=49=48University of YamanashiJapan6.3=49=39University of MiamiUnited States6.353=51California Institute of TechnologyUnited States6.454=48University of PennsylvaniaUnited States6.5=55=51Technical University of DenmarkDenmark6.6=55=51Southern Medical UniversityChina6.6=57=54Scuola Normale Superiore di PisaItaly6.8=57=44King Fahd University of Petroleum and MineralsSaudi Arabia6.8=5761Capital Medical UniversityChina6.8=60=25King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health SciencesSaudi Arabia6.9=60=56Norwegian University of Life SciencesNorway6.9=60=62Tehran University of Medical SciencesIran6.963=56Nagasaki UniversityJapan7.0=64=62Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityRussian Federation7.3=64NRKurume UniversityJapan7.3=6470Stanford UniversityUnited States7.3=67=64Saint Petersburg State UniversityRussian Federation7.4=67NRSultan Qaboos UniversityOman7.4=67=78Osaka UniversityJapan7.4=7060Pontifical Catholic University of PeruPeru7.5=70=64Washington University in St LouisUnited States7.5=70NRHoward UniversityUnited States7.5=70=91Tottori UniversityJapan7.5=74=71Nagoya City UniversityJapan7.6=74=64Tamil Nadu Agricultural UniversityIndia7.6=74NRIndian Institute of Technology RoparIndia7.6=74=80Gifu UniversityJapan7.6=74=76Kumamoto UniversityJapan7.6=74=80Shimane UniversityJapan7.6=80=54Dartmouth CollegeUnited States7.7=80NRFederal Rural University of the Semi-Arid RegionBrazil7.7=80=64Gunma UniversityJapan7.7=80NRUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaChina7.7=80=71Tokyo Institute of TechnologyJapan7.7=85=86Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni NovgorodRussian Federation7.9=85=86King Abdulaziz UniversitySaudi Arabia7.9=85=97University of MiyazakiJapan7.9=85=80Niigata UniversityJapan7.9=89=80Okayama UniversityJapan8.0=89NRUniversity of MalayaMalaysia8.0=91NRKing Khalid UniversitySaudi Arabia8.1=91=80Hokkaido UniversityJapan8.1=91NRÉcole des Mines de Saint-ÉtienneFrance8.1=91=74National University of Sciences and TechnologyPakistan8.1=91=91Princeton UniversityUnited States8.1=91=91Kochi UniversityJapan8.1=91=80Medical University of ViennaAustria8.1=98NRSechenov UniversityRussian Federation8.2=9836Tohoku UniversityJapan8.2=98=86IMT AtlantiqueFrance8.2

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