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The world's top universities in 2011

For the second year in a row, the United Kingdom’s University of Cambridge topped America’s Harvard University in the annual QS ranking of the world’s top universities.

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a UK-based higher education consulting firm, released its much-anticipated list of the top 300 today. Academic reputation – a subjective assessment – accounts for 40 percent of the score that determines where schools end up on the rankings. You can get a closer look at the methodology here.

This year’s top 10 dropped American universities Princeton and California Institute of Technology in favor of two other leading US schools. You can check out last year’s top 10 here and explore why QS’s rankings caused such a stir.

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10. Columbia University – New York, NY

Columbia just missed the top 10 last year, coming in at No. 11. This year, it bumped Princeton.

Academic reputation (a survey of academics' opinions of the institution's reputation): 13

Employer review: Tied for No. 4 with nine other schools

Citations-per-faculty: 30

Faculty-student ratio: 49

International faculty: No ranking

International students: 87

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