Ranking University Influence

Academic Influence is a site maintained by academics and data scientists with the objective of providing “an objective, non-gameable influence-based ranking for the people, schools, and disciplines that make up higher education.”

The site reports that it uses artificial intelligence to combine citations, links and semantic information from databases such as Wikipedia and Crossref with information from journals, periodicals, media, and web traffic analysts in order to identify the most influential universities and individuals. Results can be filtered by country and period.

The influential universities in recent years are mainly from the English-speaking world.  The ten most influential universities between 2000 and 2020 are:

  1. University of London
  2. Harvard University
  3. Stanford University
  4. Columbia University
  5. Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT)
  6. University of California Berkeley
  7. Yale University
  8. University of Chicago
  9. Princeton University
  10. University of Cambridge.


The top universities in the BRICS countries with their world ranks are:

Brazil; University of São Paulo 230

Russia; Moscow State University 92

India; University of Delhi 158

China; Tsinghua University 191

South Africa; University of Cape Town 170.

The most influential people from 2000 to 2020 are:

  1. Richard Dawkins
  2. Edward Snowden
  3. Bill Gates
  4. Mark Zuckerberg
  5. Paul Krugman.

The most influential people of all time are:

  1. Aristotle
  2. Charles Darwin
  3. Plato
  4. Isaac Newton
  5. Karl Marx.



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