ETH rose to 15th place from 16th place last year in the rankings which are topped again by Harvard University and dominated in the upper echelons of the top 100 by American and British universities.
The universities of Cambridge and Oxford vaulted into second and third places respectively (from fourth and fifth), ahead of MIT, Stanford, University of California, Berkeley, Princeton, Yale, California Institute of Technology and Columbia University.
ETH’s ascension confirms its growing global reputation as a top school for engineering, science, technology and mathematics.
Established in 1855, its famous graduates include Albert Einstein (1921) and numerous Nobel Prize winners.
Around 18,000 students attend classes at the university’s two campuses.
ETH’s sister institution, the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) also saw its world reputation ranking rise, from 49th to 48th position.
“This ranking is very simple and very powerful,” Phil Blaty, editor of the Times Higher Education Rankings said in a statement.
“It is based purely on subjective judgment,” Blaty said.
“But it is the expert subjective judgment of those who know most about excellent teaching and research – leading academics from all around the world.”
Over 10,000 academics from 142 countries were polled, giving their opinions without being asked to justify them.
Blaty noted the importance of a university’s global academic reputation.
“It not only influences investments and funding decisions, but more importantly, it helps a university to develop and nurture its single greatest asset: its student and academic talent.”