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US Dominates Top University Rankings – The Times

US Dominates Top University Rankings – The Times

The Times Higher Education Magazine published its World University Rankings this month, with little change to the Top 10 spots.

For the 4th consecutive year, the ‘Best University’ accolade went to the California Institute of Technology. Harvard remained in second place, while University of Oxford, Stanford University and University of Cambridge came, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

The USA remains the global leader, holding 46 of the top 100 spots. According to Philip Altbach, director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, “It is not surprising that US universities are held in such esteem worldwide. They have been seen as key institutions for close to a century now, and reputations take time to build up and generally stick unless there is some kind of crisis.”

The performance of English universities however, showed a growing divide between the South East and the rest of the country, with eight of the 10 universities represented in the Top 100 from the region. While Bristol, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Reading and Newcastle have all fallen significantly in rankings over the past 2 years.

President of Universities UK, Sir Christopher Snowden, suggested in The Telegraph this week, that the current £9,000 cap (53,516 AED) on undergraduate tuition fees is just not sustainable, while Prof Andrew Hamilton, the vice-chancellor of Oxford, said, he would like to see fees closer to the real cost of educating each student – in the case of Oxford – £16,000 (95,140 AED).

Scotland fared better this year, with all the nation’s top institutions improving their rankings. Edinburgh climbed three places to 36th, Glasgow entered the Top 100 at 94th, climbing 23 places, while St Andrews claimed not only the 111th position climbing six places from 2013, but also the top spot for student satisfaction of education provision.

2014 was also a good year for Far Eastern Universities, with Tokyo University and the National University of Singapore entering the Top 25 for the first time. In total, 24 Eastern universities are now in the Top 100, an increase of four on 2013. The Times Higher Education rankings editor, Phil Baty said, “there is much talk of a power shift from East to West, but these new world university rankings provide hard evidence of the phenomenon. There is little doubt that key East Asian nations have emerged as powerhouses in global higher education and research, while traditional leaders including the UK, Canada and the US, risk losing significant ground in the global knowledge economy.”

The rankings are complied using 13 key indicators, these include: research impact and income, staff/student ratio, numbers of international staff and students and overall reputation.


The UAE also featured, although not in the main rankings. Times Higher Education ‘BRICS and Emerging Economies Ranking 2014’ saw the UAE’s United Arab Emirates University placed 76th, while The American University of Sharjah came 79th.

Further Reading: The Times University Rankings in Full


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