Oxford climbs as Harvard tops university table

HARVARD has the strongest reputation of any university in the world according to a report released today by the Times Higher Education magazine, while Oxford has leaped back into the top five in the rankings.

Oxford and Cambridge are Britain’s only representatives in the top ten, which is otherwise dominated by major US institutions.

The survey of more than 16,000 published academics aims to reveal which universities hold the greatest allure on the basis that this will make it easier to attract high quality staff, students, business investment, research partners and donations.

Several of the capital’s universities make the top fifty, with Imperial College London in 14th place, University College London moving up one place to 20th and the London School of Economics going from 29th to 25th.

The University of Edinburgh rises three places to 46th, while the University of Manchester has hit 47th place in the table.

King’s College London and the University of Bristol also make it into the top 100 university brands.

Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education Rankings, said the results were only good news for a “handful of its elite institutions” in the UK, with several British institutions slipping out of the list altogether over the past three years.

“Traditionally, the strength in depth of the UK system has been one of its great features. However, it now seems that a gap is opening up between the very best and the rest, with even household name institutions like Sheffield and Leeds losing their lustre and falling down the rankings.”

The research also shows the growing reputation of Asian institutions at the expense of traditional Western organisations. The National University of Singapore, the Republic of Korea’s Seoul National University and the University of Hong Kong all take positions in the top 50.