"US continues to lose its grip as institutions in Europe up their game" inform World University Rankings.
World University Rankings 2015-2016: top 10
A total of 147 US universities feature in the top 800 – the largest THE rankings to date – including the California Institute of Technology, which claims pole position for the fifth consecutive year.
However, there are signs of decline for the traditional Western powerhouse lower down in the table. The US now has 63 universities in the top 200, down from 74 last year, and 77 the year before. Six of these make the top 10, compared with seven last year; after Caltech, these are: Stanford (third), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (fifth), Harvard (sixth - its first time outside the top four in the rankings’ 12-year history), Princeton (seventh) and the University of Chicago (10th). The UK’s universities of Oxford (second), Cambridge (fourth) and Imperial College London (eighth), and Switzerland’s ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ninth) fill the rest of the top 10.
Phil Baty, THE rankings editor, said that the US’ movement is to some degree owing to significant improvements to the rankings’ data sources this year, with “improved coverage of research not published in English and a better geographical spread of responses to our academic reputation survey”.
However, he added that it also demonstrates that the US’ leading status as the world’s top magnet for academic and student talent “cannot be taken for granted”, citing figures that show that 47 states in the US have implemented higher education funding cuts since the global recession in 2008.
Simon Marginson, professor of international higher education at the UCL Institute of Education, said that US research is “not declining in the absolute sense”, but rather “other countries are improving and crowding into the top 200 space”.
One of these competitor nations is the UK, which has improved its standing this year. A total of 78 UK institutions feature in the top 800, with 34 of these sitting in the first quarter, up from 29 last year.
Other countries in Europe have also performed well. Germany has 20 universities in the top 200, a rise of eight since last year, while the Netherlands has 12 in the first quarter, up from 11. Meanwhile, Switzerland’s ETH Zurich is the first non-Anglo-American institution to make the top 10 for a decade.
Overall, Europe has 345 universities in the world top 800, meaning its institutions comprise more than two-fifths of the table...
The THE World University Rankings use 13 performance indicators to examine universities’ strengths. View the full methodology, along with the World University Rankings 2015-2016 top 800.
Chris Parr is joined by rankings editor Phil Baty, rankings reporter Ellie Bothwell, and student content editor Carly Minsky to discuss the results of the latest THE World University Rankings.
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Source: Times Higher Education