UK home to 10 of the world’s most prestigious universities

Mənbə: The Independent

British Universities are rising up the ranks for reputation in spite of Brexit, latest global league tables reveal, with ten of the UK’s institutions making the top 100 in the world.

Oxford University has caught up with Cambridge for the first time this year, with both institutions sharing fourth place – the UK’s highest entry – in the Times Higher Education rankings for 2017.

The UK claims 10 spots in the top 100 list, the same as last year, with several institutions making gains this year.

A marked improvement was seen for University College London, the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh, each jumping four places up the table to reach 20th, 24th and joint 34th place respectively.

By comparison, German universities make up six places in the top 100, and France and Switzerland each hold three.

The UK’s success will offer some degree of relief to industry leaders, who have long warned of the damaging effect of Brexit on the country’s reputation as a hub for higher education and research.

The table’s authors stressed that the future of the UK’s University sector remains uncertain, however – and Brexit negotiations could well have an impact on reputation further down the line.

Speaking to The Independent, Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education in the UK, said: “While the reputation survey took place following the EU referendum vote – between January and March 2017 – the impact of Brexit on the UK university sector is still uncertain and as such is unlikely to impact the ranking results.

“However, if UK universities are prevented from accessing European research funding or struggle to recruit leading European academics this may well have an impact on UK universities’ prestige in the years to come.”

Harvard University retained its number one position at the top of the table, with Massachusetts Institute of Technology in second place, and Stanford University in third – unchanged from last year.

The top of the league tables are typically dominated by US universities, but the UK’s strong performance is “particularly impressive” given the increasing competition from Asian Universities, Mr Baty added.

“While 20 of the US’s 42 representatives have declined since last year and only eight have improved, eight out of 10 of the UK’s featured universities have maintained or improved their performance,” he said.

Presenting evidence to MPs at a public hearing in Oxford earlier this year, university vice chancellors warned a hard Brexit could spell the “biggest disaster” for higher education for years to come.

Britain’s departure from the EU presented “major challenges” and could push the reputation of UK universities off a “cliff edge” the Education Select Committee’s inquiry concluded.

Applications from EU candidates hoping to study at Cambridge University dropped by 14 per cent last year, the board was told, before official figures revealed applications had fallen nationwide following the Brexit vote.

The reputation survey is the largest of its kind, and uses United Nations data to ensure the response coverage is representative of academia around the world.

Responding to the latest tables, a Cambridge University spokesperson said: “We are pleased that this ranking, like all others, reflects the fact that the University of Cambridge is among a small group of the most respected and influential higher education institutions in the world.”

The top UK universities for world reputation, according to Times Higher Education:

Reputation rank 2017 Reputation rank 2016 Institution
=4 4 University of Cambridge
=4 5 University of Oxford
16 20 University College London
18 15 Imperial College London
20 24 London School of Economics and Political Science
=34 38 University of Edinburgh
41 43 King’s College London
51-60 =49 University of Manchester
81-90 81-90 University of Warwick

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