Times Higher Education, a London-based magazine, compiles World University Rankings using 13 performance indicators to judge institutions “across all of their core missions - teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.” Here are the rankings for 2012-13:

Top Research Universities
1 California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA
2 (tie) University of Oxford Oxford, UK
2 (tie) Stanford University Palo Alto, CA
4 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
6 Princeton University Princeton, NJ
7 University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK
8 Imperial College London London, UK
9 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA
10 University of Chicago Chicago, IL
Source: Times Higher Education