Oxford and Cambridge take top two spots in global university rankings

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England is home to the top two universities in the world, but the UK is no longer the second most-represented nation in the rankings, according to a new league table.

Oxford claims top spot for the third consecutive year, while Cambridge retains second position for a second year, in the latest annual Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

The US’s Stanford University completes the top three, maintaining it position from last year.

Despite the UK having 98 institutions in the full list of 1,258, it loses its spot as second most-represented nation to Japan which claims 103 positions.

The US leads the way with 172 institutions in the list.

The UK retains its status as second most-represented in the top 200, after America, but the majority (21 of 29) also remain static or decline.

This year’s ranking see the University of Dundee and Royal Holloway slipping out of the global 200.

China’s new top university, Tsinghua, claims 25th spot, and overtakes the UK’s LSE for, which falls one spot to 26, and the University of Edinburgh which drops from joint 27 to 29.

There are a number of climbers in the UK, with University College London rising two spots to number 14, and the University of Warwick scaling 12 places to joint 79th.

The University of Birmingham jumps 25 positions to joint 116, while the University of Aberdeen leaps 27 positions to 158th.

Phil Baty, editorial director of the THE global rankings, said: “We see some individual stars in the UK this year, but the broader national data story is really one of stagnation and modest decline, with the UK taking a minor hit to its research reputation.

“We can only speculate at this stage as to any connection with Brexit, the risk, however, to the UK’s reputation and research capabilities from its separation with Europe is very real.

“The ground-breaking work of UK universities mustn’t be undermined by complacency and politicking.

“To ensure they continue to thrive on the global stage, positive immigration and investment policies are crucial.

“They must be free to attract and retain the very best international talent and international students post-Brexit, and they must be protected from cuts, the flow of research funding and academic talent mustn’t be impacted.”

Universities minister Sam Gyimah said: “At the heart of our great nations’ success is great education. Universities are engines of social mobility and generators of new ideas – and they are a vital part of our economy.”

Here is the list of the UK universities in the top 200 of the latest THE World University Rankings. Last year’s positions are in brackets. = denotes joint position.

1. (1) University of Oxford

2. (2) University of Cambridge

9. (8) Imperial College London

16. (15) University College London

26. (=25) London School of Economics and Political Science

=29. (=27) University of Edinburgh

38. (36) King’s College London

57. (=54) University of Manchester

78. (76) University of Bristol

=79. (91) University of Warwick

=88. (=80) University of Glasgow

106. (104) University of Sheffield

114. (97) Durham University

=116. (=141) University of Birmingham

118. (=126) University of Southampton

119. (=137) University of York

130. (121) Queen Mary University of London

141. (=130) University of Exeter

=146. (=150) Lancaster University

149. (=147) University of Nottingham

=153. (139) University of Leeds

158. (185) University of Aberdeen

=161. (=147) University of Sussex

165. (=143) University of St Andrews

=167. (=159) University of Leicester

=171. (=175) Newcastle University

=181. (=177) University of Liverpool

=187. (=162) Cardiff University

=190. (=188) University of East Anglia

The table ranks institutions on 12 measures grouped into five areas – teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income.

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