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US Universities Dominate Reputation Rankings 2014

Our full coverage of the 2014 World Reputation Rankings of Universities by Times Higher Education, including exclusive comments from Times editor Phil Baty.

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For another year, US universities have been voted as the most reputable in the world, according to Times’ annual World Rankings. Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been joined by Stanford to create an American “triumvirate” of sorts at the top of the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2014.


Skip to our exclusive comments regarding this year's rankings, with the Editor for Times Higher Education


The three elite universities were joined by a further 43 American institutions in the top 100, with the UK following from a distance with 10 universities. The UK’s Cambridge and Oxford took spots 4 and 5 with America dominating the rest of the top 10 (with the University of California at Berkley, Princeton and Yale).

The rankings are based on an invitation-only poll of academics from around the world, with over 10,000 responses received this year overall.

Asia continues to make positive steps forward, while London came out of this year’s rankings as the city with the most universities in the top 100 (with six overall). It should also noted

Reputation is something which is becoming more of critical issue to universities in a world of social media and information passing quickly around the globe; this is something which comes up in our interview with Phil Baty, editor of the Rankings, below.  



Hong Kong University of Science and Technology - One of the rising stars of the rankings this year

King’s College, University of London - One of Europe’s fastest rising universities in the rankings

University of Bristol and Monash University – Despite dropping out of the rankings this year, you might still want to check these out (better luck next year)





Interview with Phil Baty, Editor of Times Higher Education


Phil, what does a positive reputation do for a university?

'There is a lot of evidence that the reputation of a university is a significant factor considered by students when choosing where to study. But in addition to enabling an institution to attract the best students, having a good reputation also allows a university to attract the best global faculty and, potentially, investment too.

So, put simply, any reputational decline or fall in rankings could have an effect and potentially lead to a vicious circle - with the diminished ability to attract top global talent leading to a further diminished reputation.'


Is it easier to grow a reputation than to maintain a reputation as a university?

'A university’s reputation will not change overnight, but we are able to observe significant movement in the reputation rankings over a relatively short space of time. In an information rich age, good and bad news can travel fast around the world, and both positive and negative developments in universities will be recognised relatively quickly.

For example, Australian universities have broadly fallen down the tables this year and there has been speculation that this might have been due to their government announcing major funding cuts in higher education at the time of the reputation survey, which may have caused fewer academics to nominate Australian universities.'


What are the 6 “super-brands” doing correctly?

'There is no simple, single recipe for success when it comes to maintain an excellent reputation, but there are several factors that help.

Firstly, investment ensures that the best faculty is attracted to a university, and allows for the provision of facilities to attract the best students. It also permits the proliferation of world-class research papers – all this will not go unnoticed by the academic community.

Secondly, embracing internationalisation is also a key factor when it comes to reputation – international research collaboration and networks, plus the recruitment of international faculty and students helps to show the rest of the academic community the great works a university is undertaking.


What is the future for reputation management in the international education sector?

'Technology holds the key for the future of reputation management. As I have said, a university’s reputation will not change overnight, but news travels very fast in this day and age, and it is already possible that we are seeing the effects of certain events playing out in the World Reputation Rankings. It is vital that universities use technology to manage these pieces of news (which are very much part of the humdrum of university life) effectively, but also use technology and social media to share positive news and breakthroughs – the stuff that makes a reputation - with the rest of the world.' 

Browse the Times World University Rankings 2013-2014

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