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The sky’s the limit – ranking the world’s tallest unis

You asked for it - and now it is here. A ranking of the world's tallest universities. Paul Greatrix lives his best life.
This article is more than 4 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

A while back we did this vital ranking of the UK universities which would be the last to go under in the event of rising sea levels.

It proved to be an extremely popular league table, and was rumoured to have been quoted approvingly by several senior leaders from well-placed institutions, but was the subject of a number of challenges and appeals. Perhaps surprisingly the data has yet too make it into the leading domestic rankings.

The latest key ranking then is of the tallest university buildings in the world, courtesy of Wikipedia, defined as having an occupiable height that is 90% devoted to classroom, research, and educational administration use. Student residential accommodation does not count.

Here is the top 20 then and with all of them coming in at over 100m they certainly offer the opportunity for a dizzying educational experience for their students and staff. I’ve never been to Moscow State University but I’ve always thought it looks fantastic.


 Building UniversityHeight (m)
1Main Building Lomonosov Moscow State University 240 m
2Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower Multiple 204 m
3Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers Multiple 170 m
4Cathedral of Learning University of Pittsburgh 163 m
5Cathedral of Learning Assumption University of Thailand 159 m
6Vertical Campus Roosevelt University 143m
7Guang Hua Tower Fudan University 142m
8Shinjuku Building Kogakuin University 133 m
9STEC Information Building Kogakuin University 124 m
10Boissonade Tower Hosei University 122 m
11Academy of Sciences Headquarters Russian Academy of Sciences 120 m
12UTS Tower University of Technology, Sydney 120 m
13Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning University of Toronto 119 m
14Liberty Tower Meiji University 119 m
15Torre de la Universidad Laboral Universidad Laboral de Gijón 117 m
1625 Park Place Georgia State University 115 m
17Erasmus MC Faculteitsgebouw Erasmus MC 114 m
18Rhodes Tower Cleveland State University 111 m
19Academy of Sciences Latvian Academy of Sciences 108 m
20University Hall University of Illinois at Chicago 103 m

(All data taken from Wikipedia.)

The tallest UK university according to the data sits a long way off the pace with the University of Sheffield coming in at 50th thanks to the Arts Tower.

And before Warwick submits an appeal for the presence of Warwick Business School on two floors of the Shard, that doesn’t quite meet the criteria (and the 17th floor, whilst it has fantastic views I’m told, is a long way from the top).

No arguments with this list then I think.

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