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MIT triumphs in new world university rankings

Want bragging rights? Go to MIT. Want a job after you graduate? Go to Oxford or Cambridge.Those are some of the findings of a new ranking of global universities, released Tuesday.

The Ray and Maria Stata Center ion the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Six of the 10 top universities were American, with MIT taking top honors, and the remaining four were British, the QS World University Rankings said. The rankings judge colleges by research, teaching, employability and internationalization.

Tied for No. 2 were the University of Cambridge and London's Imperial College, which was the biggest climber in the top 10, leapfrogging Harvard, University College London and the University of Oxford.

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"In the wake of the recession, both governments and private sector funding sources are placing greater emphasis on high-impact STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) research, much of which takes place in specialist institutions," QS head of research Ben Sowter said in a news release.

"Tech-focused institutions are increasingly the focal point of a global race for innovation. With budgets from public sources increasingly coming under strain, institutions seem more focused than ever on potentially lucrative research in science, technology and medicine."

The other universities in the top 10 were Stanford, the California Institute of Technology, Princeton and Yale.

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Students focused on finding a job post-college might want to consider heading to the U.K. The study found that Cambridge and Oxford turned out the most "employable" graduates.

Those more concerned with getting rich might want to consider Harvard. In an earlier report, Wealth-X ranked it top for number of billionaire alumni. An incredible 52 of its former students are billionaires, including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Swiss-Brazilian banker Jorge Lemann.

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But it's not all good news for higher education. Read this: 'Monumental failure' of today's colleges: Survey

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato