Here are the ‘Gold Tiered’ universities eligible for $100K Cayman Scholar Award

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The Cayman Scholar Award is the government’s top new scholarship opportunity, providing one Caymanian boy and one Caymanian girl full tuition for their undergraduate studies at an elite university.

But until recently, what qualified as an “Ivy League or Gold Tiered” university was not known.

The award, valued at up to $100,000 per year, was announced this summer. At the time, Minister of Education Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said, “Throughout the years, we have seen several brilliant Caymanian scholars who have missed out on the opportunity to attend some of the world’s most prestigious universities because of insufficient funding. [This award will allow] them to soar to the pinnacle of academic achievement without the barrier of funding, and [enable] them to attend approved Ivy League or Gold Tiered Universities.”

Last week, the ministry provided more details about the Cayman Scholar Award, specifying that eligible universities must appear in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings.

In addition to well-known institutions in the UK and US, many of the universities are located in Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

However, there are no eligible universities in Africa and only one in Latin America -- Argentina’s Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).

In total, 35 of the universities are located in Europe or the UK, 31 in North America, 26 in Asia, 8 in Oceania and one in Latin America. (Because of tied rankings, there are actually 101 schools in the ‘top 100’.)

The description of the Cayman Scholar Award specifies 'Ivy League' schools. The Ivy League is a group of eight private research universities in the Northeastern US, including Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities.

Seven of the eight Ivy League schools are in the QS top 100 list. One is not: Dartmouth College, which ranks 191th.

Here’s a list of the top 100 universities you can explore:

1Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyNorth America
2University of OxfordEurope/UK
3Stanford UniversityNorth America
3University of CambridgeEurope/UK
5Harvard UniversityNorth America
6California Institute of TechnologyNorth America
7Imperial College LondonEurope/UK
8University College LondonEurope/UK
8Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in ZurichEurope/UK
10University of ChicagoNorth America
11National University of SingaporeAsia
12University of PennsylvaniaNorth America
13Nanyang Technological UniversityAsia
14Yale UniversityNorth America
14Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in LausanneEurope/UK
16University of EdinburghEurope/UK
17Tsinghua UniversityAsia
18Peking UniversityAsia
19Columbia UniversityNorth America
20Princeton UniversityNorth America
21Cornell UniversityNorth America
22University of Hong KongAsia
23University of MichiganNorth America
23University of TokyoAsia
25Johns Hopkins UniversityNorth America
26University of TorontoNorth America
27University of ManchesterEurope/UK
27McGill UniversityNorth America
27Australian National UniversityAustralia/New Zealand
30Northwestern UniversityNorth America
31Fudan UniversityAsia
32University of California, BerkeleyNorth America
33Kyoto UniversityAsia
34Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyAsia
35King's College LondonEurope/UK
36Seoul National UniversityAsia
37University of MelbourneAustralia/New Zealand
38University of SydneyAustralia/New Zealand
39Chinese University of Hong KongAsia
40University of California, Los AngelesNorth America
42New York UniversityNorth America
43University of New South WalesAustralia/New Zealand
44Paris Sciences et Lettres UniversityEurope/UK
45Zhejiang UniversityAsia
46University of British ColumbiaNorth America
47University of QueenslandAustralia/New Zealand
48University of California, San DiegoNorth America
49London School of EconomicsEurope/UK
49Polytechnic Institute of ParisEurope/UK
50Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityAsia
50Technical University of MunichEurope/UK
52Duke UniversityNorth America
53Carnegie Mellon UniversityNorth America
53City University of Hong KongAsia
55University of AmsterdamEurope/UK
56Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech)Asia
57Delft University of TechnologyEurope/UK
58Monash UniversityAustralia/New Zealand
60Brown UniversityNorth America
61The University of WarwickEurope/UK
62University of BristolEurope/UK
63Ruprecht-Karls-Universität HeidelbergEurope/UK
64Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenEurope/UK
65Universiti Malaya (UM)Asia
66The Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityAsia
67University of Texas at AustinNorth America
58National Taiwan University (NTU)Asia
69Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)Latin America
70KU LeuvenEurope/UK
70University of ZurichEurope/UK
72Sorbonne UniversityEurope/UK
73University of GlasgowEurope/UK
74Korea UniversityAsia
75Osaka UniversityAsia
75University of Wisconsin-MadisonNorth America
77University of SouthamptonEurope/UK
78Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityEurope/UK
79University of CopenhagenEurope/UK
79Yonsei UniversityAsia
81Pohang University of Science And Technology (POSTECH)Asia
82Durham UniversityEurope/UK
82Tohoku UniversityAsia
82University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignNorth America
85The University of AucklandAustralia/New Zealand
85University of WashingtonNorth America
86Université Paris-SaclayEurope/UK
87Lund UniversityEurope/UK
88Georgia Institute of TechnologyNorth America
89KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyEurope/UK
90University of BirminghamEurope/UK
91University of St AndrewsEurope/UK
92University of LeedsEurope/UK
93The University of Western AustraliaAustralia/New Zealand
94Rice UniversityNorth America
95The University of SheffieldEurope/UK
96Pennsylvania State UniversityNorth America
97Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)Asia
98University of Science and Technology of ChinaAsia
99Technical University of DenmarkEurope/UK
100University of North Carolina, Chapel HillNorth America

University ranking lists are often controversial, and schools’ rankings can vary widely according to which group created the list and what factors they used.

For example, 50% of the QS ranking score is determined by opinion surveys of academics and businesses, with the other half calculated according to faculty/student ratio, research output and the ratio of international faculty and students.

The UK-based QS ranking is one of the most popular university rankings in the world, along with the China-based Academic Ranking of World Universities and the UK-based Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

US News & World Report also publishes a Best Global University Ranking, in addition to its domestic Best Colleges Ranking of American schools.

If you’re interested in UK schools, the Guardian publishes its own rankings of The Best UK Universities.

While each organisation and list has its own methodology, it can be said generally that ‘world’ rankings tend to emphasise academic research, while ‘domestic’ rankings will incorporate factors such as student satisfaction, entry standards, price, etc.

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