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10 Best Global Universities in Europe

European schools with top-notch research

Thousands of international students study in Europe each year in search of a new experience or a better education. For instance, the region hosted 181,145 Americans studying abroad in the 2016-2017 school year, according to data collected by the Institute of International Education. Of the 332,727 American students who studied abroad, per this data, 54.4% chose Europe as their destination. These are the top 10 Best Global Universities in Europe, ranked by U.S. News based on their academic reputations and research performance.

10. University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam came to life in 1632 as Athenaeum Illustre. Some 400 years later, the school claims upward of 34,000 students and a wide range of programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Some programs, particularly at the graduate level, are taught in English.

8 (tie). King's College London

Established by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, King's College London has gone on to produce prominent alumni. Graduates of King's College London include poet John Keats, medical pioneer Florence Nightingale and Bishop Desmond Tutu, a South African anti-apartheid activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

8 (tie). Sorbonne Universite

The name Sorbonne Universite was bestowed in 2018 after a merger of Paris-Sorbonne and Pierre and Marie Curie University, but the roots of the institution stretch all the way back to the 13th century, according to the school's website. The university claims 55,600 students, including about 10,200 international students.

7. University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen traces its roots to 1479, per the institution's website. In a recent year, more than 38,000 students were enrolled at the Danish university, which offers more than 200 research centers and even more programs of study.

6. University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh, located in Scotland's capital, has three colleges containing 21 schools, according to the university's website. University faculty members have won Nobel Prizes across various categories. Included among Nobel Prize winners with links to the university is Winston Churchill, who once served as the head of the institution.

5. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, also known as ETH Zurich, was founded in 1855. In a recent year, according to data on the school's website, ETH Zurich enrolled more than 21,000 students. Albert Einstein once taught physics at the university, according to its website, and was one of its more than 30 Nobel laureates.

4. University College London

Based in the heart of Britain's capital, University College London also has a presence in Qatar. UCL opened in 1826 and in 1878 became the first in England to "admit women students on equal terms with men," according to the school's website. The school now claims more than 42,000 students representing 150-plus nationalities, per its website.

3. Imperial College London

Imperial College London, founded in 1907, focuses on science, engineering, medicine and business studies. The university has ties to 14 Nobel laureates, according to its website, and lists an enrollment of 17,000 students with undergraduates from 125-plus countries represented on campus.

2. University of Cambridge

The history of the University of Cambridge can be traced back all the way to 1209. Cambridge celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2009. Per its website, the university has 22,690 students, with 3,690 of those coming from the European Union and another 5,800 hailing from overseas.

1. University of Oxford

The United Kingdom's University of Oxford, which traces its beginnings to 1096, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, according to its website. In that time, the university has produced 28 British prime ministers, 55 Nobel Prize winners and 120 alumni who have claimed Olympic medals. Oxford also hosted a young Bill Clinton, who studied there on a Rhodes scholarship some two decades before his election as U.S. president.

Learn more about studying in Europe.

See how bachelor's programs differ in Europe, what questions to ask about major offerings and learn what factors to highlight in international university applications. Follow U.S. News Education on Facebook and Twitter for more higher education news and tips.

Top universities in Europe

-- 1. University of Oxford

-- 2. University of Cambridge

-- 3. Imperial College London

-- 4. University College London

-- 5. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

-- 6. University of Edinburgh

-- 7. University of Copenhagen

-- 8 (tie). King's College London

-- 8 (tie). Sorbonne Universite

-- 10. University of Amsterdam

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