The United Kingdom is home to the world's top two universities for the first time after Oxford and Cambridge took first and second places in a prestigious ranking
Oxford took the top spot in the Times Higher Education's 2018 World University Rankings for the second year in a row, having knocked the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) off the top spot last year after it held the position between 2012 and 2016. Cambridge jumped from fourth to second place.
Meanwhile, Caltech came joint third with Stanford University.
Times Higher Education (THE) said one of the reasons Oxbridge had jumped was thanks to an increase in both institutions' total income, which rose 24 per cent for Oxford and 11 per cent for Cambridge.
Imperial College took third place in the UK and eighth overall, while University College London came fourth in the UK, and 16th globally.
|Institution||Rank 2018||Previous year|
|University of Oxford||1||1|
|University of Cambridge||2||4|
|Imperial College London||8||8|
|University College London||16||15|
|London School of Economics||25||25|
|University of Edinburgh||27||27|
|King’s College London||36||36|
|University of Manchester||54||55|
|University of Bristol||76||71|
|University of Glasgow||80||88|
|University of Warwick||91||82|
|University of Sheffield||104||109|
|Queen Mary University of London||121||113|
|University of Southampton||126||121|
|University of Exeter||130||126|
|University of York||137||129|
|University of Leeds||139||133|
|University of Birmingham||141||130|
|University of St Andrews||143||110|
|University of Nottingham||147||147|
|University of Sussex||147||149|
|University of Leicester||159||172|
|University of Liverpool||177||158|
|University of Aberdeen||185||188|
|University of Dundee||187||180|
|University of East Anglia||188||165|
|Royal Holloway, University of London||197||173|
Although the UK's top institutions showed impressive performances, there were signs of a gap between the UK's most elite establishments and other universities, with the University of Warwick falling nine places to 91st, while the University of St Andrews fell 33 places, to joint 143rd. Just over half of UK institutions represented in the top 200 fell, THE said.
“The UK higher education system is facing intense political pressure, with questions over the value for money provided by £9,250 tuition fees in England, our continued attractiveness to international students, the flow of research funding and academic talent post-Brexit, and even levels of vice-chancellors’ pay," said Phil Baty, editorial director of global rankings at THE.
But one thing this new data makes absolutely clear is that the UK has many of the very best universities in the world and it has one of the world’s strongest higher education systems
He added: "The data show UK universities are consistently producing ground-breaking new research which is driving innovation, they are attracting international student and academic talent and are providing a world-class teaching environment. They are a huge national asset, and one that the country can ill afford to undermine at a time when its place in the global order is under intense scrutiny."