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Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017-18: UK universities take top two places

The UK scoops the top two spots for first time ever in latest World Uni rankings. Asian universities are also on the rise.

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The UK holds the top two universities in the world for the first time ever in the 13-year history of the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings.

 

The 2017-18 list, published on September 5th 2017, puts the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge at number one and two respectively. Oxford has managed to hold on to its number one spot for the second year running. Meanwhile, Cambridge has overtaken both the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Stanford University to move from fourth to second.

 

Although the UK hold the top two places in the rankings, they only hold 12 places in the top 100, in comparison to USA’s 41.

 

Globally, the United States continues to dominate the rankings, but Chinese universities are rapidly climbing each year.

 

One of the main reasons for the shift among the top four universities is that Oxford and Cambridge have managed to register substantial increases in their total income for the year. In contrast, both Stanford and Caltech have seen big revenue falls in the same period. Cambridge also saw significant improvements in its research quality in comparison to the other top four institutions.

 

Although the elite British institutions either improved or remained steady across the various metrics in the rankings, some of the lower-ranked UK universities have declined – particularly in the teaching and research fields. This could be because of an increase in global competition, such as several Asian institutions consistently improving in those areas.

 

There are also fears that Brexit could have a profound impact on British universities’ standings in the years to come. The number of EU applicants to UK universities has already fallen by five per cent this year. In addition, top institutions such as the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford get a lot of funding from the EU, and this money could be cut significantly depending on the final Brexit deal.

 

Phil Baty, the Editorial Director of THE’s Global Rankings, said: “The new Times Higher Education World University Rankings serve to highlight what is at stake if we cannot agree a sustainable way to properly fund our universities, we fail to welcome global students, and if the research funding and academic talent that currently comes to us from the European Union is cut off.”

 

Europe has continued to perform strongly in the Rankings, despite competition from Asia.

 

Switzerland’s ETH Zurich has hung on to a place in the top 10 despite dropping one spot, and Trinity College Dublin has risen 14 places to 117th.

 

Spain and Italy have both managed to get new number one universities as a result of big rises for Pompeu Fabra University and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.

 

China’s top two universities now outrank Germany’s top instutition LMU Munich.

 

Tsinghua University has also overtaken Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and Peking University now outranks the Karolinska Institute and is level with the University of Edinburgh.

 

Europe now has seven institutions in the top 30 while Asia has three. Last year these figures were 10 and two respectively.

 

McMaster University in Canada also saw a huge jump in the Rankings, moving from 113th place to 78th.

 

To see the full results, click here.

 

Rank 2018

Previous year

Institution

Country

1

1

University of Oxford

United Kingdom

2

4

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

=3

2

California Institute of Technology

United States

=3

3

Stanford University

United States

5

5

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

United States

6

6

Harvard University

United States

7

7

Princeton University

United States

8

8

Imperial College London

United Kingdom

9

=10

University of Chicago

United States

=10

9

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Switzerland

=10

13

University of Pennsylvania

United States

12

12

Yale University

United States

13

17

Johns Hopkins University

United States

14

16

Columbia University

United States

15

14

University of California, Los Angeles

United States

16

15

University College London

United Kingdom

17

18

Duke University

United States

18

=10

University of California, Berkeley

United States

19

19

Cornell University

United States

20

20

Northwestern University

United States

21

21

University of Michigan

United States

=22

24

National University of Singapore

Singapore

=22

22

University of Toronto

Canada

24

23

Carnegie Mellon University

United States

=25

=25

London School of Economics and Political Science

United Kingdom

=25

=25

University of Washington

United States

=27

27

University of Edinburgh

United Kingdom

=27

32

New York University

United States

=27

29

Peking University

China

30

35

Tsinghua University

China

31

41

University of California, San Diego

United States

32

=33

University of Melbourne

Australia

33

=33

Georgia Institute of Technology

United States

=34

=36

University of British Columbia

Canada

=34

=30

LMU Munich

Germany

36

=36

King’s College London

United Kingdom

37

=36

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

United States

=38

=30

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Switzerland

=38

28

Karolinska Institute

Sweden

40

=43

University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

41

46

Technical University of Munich

Germany

42

42

McGill University

Canada

43

45

University of Wisconsin-Madison

United States

44

49

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Hong Kong

45

=43

Heidelberg University

Germany

46

39

University of Tokyo

Japan

47

40

KU Leuven

Belgium

48

47

Australian National University

Australia

49

50

University of Texas at Austin

United States

=50

=51

Brown University

United States

=50

=57

Washington University in St Louis

United States

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About Author

Raif is a huge football fan and loves an infographic. He studied on the NCTJ-accredited University of Sheffield Journalism course, which has recently been voted the UK's number one for journalism in the Guardian's University League Table. Raif will look out for any mentions on social media, and will always be happy to help with any queries on your study abroad journey.

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