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3. Harvard University

Refusing to be left behind, the Americans follow with a vengeance.

Harvard University is ranked No 3.

Harvard College was established in 1636 and was named for its first benefactor, John Harvard of Charlestown.

Harvard was a young minister who, on his death in 1638, left his library and half his estate to the newly established institution.

It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

Seven presidents of the United States (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Rutherford B Hayes, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and George W Bush) were graduates of Harvard.

Its faculty has produced 40 Nobel laureates.

The US News & World Report ranks Harvard at No 1 in its rating for America's best universities for the year 2005.

Information courtesy Harvard University.

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