British universities have been named the best in the world for a second year running, this time boasting the two top positions in the prestigious World University Rankings.
Oxford University is ranked in first place in this year’s table, after beating US champion the California Institute of Technology for the first time last year.
An even greater achievement, arguably, was seen by rival Cambridge this year, as the institution jumped from fourth place up to second thanks to a perceived improvement in research quality.
It’s the first time in the 13-year history of the rankings that two European institutions take the top two spots.
Switzerland’s ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) also clings onto a spot in the top 10, after dropping one place from ninth to joint 10th. Meanwhile, Trinity College Dublin has jumped 14 places to 117th this year.
Italy and Spain both have new number ones thanks to large rises for two of their institutions: Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and Pompeu Fabra University.
But the rise of Asia is becoming an increasing threat to Europe’s standing in the rankings, its authors said.
China’s two leading universities now outrank Germany’s top institution, LMU Munich.
Germany also has two fewer institutions in the top 200; of the 20 institutions that still make this cohort, 12 have slipped.
Tsinghua University has also overtaken Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and Peking University now outranks the Karolinska Institute and is on a par 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.
Phil Baty, editorial director of the global rankings, said: “Europe is one of the leading regions in the THE World University Rankings and is now home to more than half of the top-200 spots (101 compared to 99 last year).
“The University of Cambridge’s rise to second place, in particular, is a fantastic achievement, while other improvements show the strength of the region amid increasing global competition.
“But there are signs that Asia is starting to threaten the position of some of Europe’s leading institutions, while Brexit poses a huge risk to the success of UK universities in the future. Europe will need to work hard to ensure it can sustain its performance in future years.”
The rankings, devised annually by Times Higher Education, judge research-intensive universities across all their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
The top 100 universities in full
|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|
|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|
|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|
|40||43||University of Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|41||46||Technical University of Munich||Germany|
|43||45||University of Wisconsin-Madison||United States|
|44||49||Hong Kong University of Science and Technology||Hong Kong|
|46||39||University of Tokyo||Japan|
|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|
|52||54||Nanyang Technological University||Singapore|
|53||48||University of California, Santa Barbara||United States|
|54||51||University of California, Davis||United States|
|54||55||University of Manchester||United Kingdom|
|56||53||University of Minnesota||United States|
|56||56||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||United States|
|58||76||Chinese University of Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|59||63||University of Amsterdam||Netherlands|
|60||70||Purdue University||United States|
|61||60||University of Sydney||Australia|
|62||57||Humboldt University of Berlin||Germany|
|63||59||Delft University of Technology||Netherlands|
|64||65||Wageningen University & Research||Netherlands|
|65||60||University of Queensland||Australia|
|66||60||University of Southern California||United States|
|69||67||University of Maryland, College Park||United States|
|70||64||Boston University||United States|
|70||72||Ohio State University||United States|
|72||69||Erasmus University Rotterdam||Netherlands|
|72||NR||Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris||France|
|74||72||Seoul National University||South Korea|
|76||71||University of Bristol||United Kingdom|
|77||68||Pennsylvania State University||United States|
|79||78||RWTH Aachen University||Germany|
|80||88||University of Glasgow||United Kingdom|
|82||95||University of Freiburg||Germany|
|83||80||University of Groningen||Netherlands|
|83||101||Michigan State University||United States|
|85||78||University of New South Wales||Australia|
|86||87||Rice University||United States|
|88||75||Free University of Berlin||Germany|
|89||82||Dartmouth College||United States|
|90||91||University of Helsinki||Finland|
|91||82||University of Warwick||United Kingdom|
|92||82||Technical University of Berlin||Germany|
|94||89||University of Tübingen||Germany|
|95||98||University of Basel||Switzerland|
|95||89||Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)||South Korea|
|97||96||Durham University||United Kingdom|
|98||82||Emory University||United States|
|99||98||University of California, Irvine||United States|
|100||113||University of Bonn||Germany|
|100||116||University of Colorado Boulder||United States|
|100||80||University of Pittsburgh||United States|
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