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26 September, 2017
Which universities have scored the top places the Times University Guide? Find out here.
Oxford and Cambridge are dominating the world university rankings. Cambridge came in second, having risen from last year’s fourth place in the ‘Times Higher Education World University Rankings’. Oxford university retained the top spot. This is the first time two UK universities have taken the top two positions in the history of the rankings table.

What makes them so good?

The ‘Times Higher Education World University Rankings’ looks at a number of factors. These include the quality of teaching, research, international outlook, citations and the income generated by the university. Oxford and Cambridge now stand above US institutions the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University, which both share third place in the rankings table.

The table is made up of 1,000 universities in 77 countries. Oxford and Cambridge are two of 31 UK universities which made it into the top 200 in the world. Authors of the table explain that although the top spots were “extremely tight”, the Oxbridge success is due to a sharp increase in their industry income.

Rankings director Phil Baty has warned that UK universities could drop down the ranks in the aftermath of Brexit. A fifth of Oxford’s and a quarter of Cambridge’s research income is generated by EU grants. This could affect the performance of UK universities after Brexit has taken place, as this funding will be withdrawn. Already some research grants have not been renewed, since their completion dates would fall beyond the UK’s exit date.

Cambridge university buildingDespite the gloom of Brexit, data has shown that our universities are attracting overseas students and academic talent while providing a world class teaching environment. Cambridge University has also been named the best university in the UK at helping graduates into work, seeing off five other UK universities that reached the top fifty in the new international rankings. Cambridge and Oxford were both ranked highly by employers, with US institutions best at producing graduates which accomplish prestige in their professions.

Cambridge University states:

“Cambridge graduates are highly sought after: the national Destination of Leavers from HE survey indicates that, 6 months after graduating, 58% were in employment, 34% were doing further study and 5% were taking a year out. Our graduates contribute globally in business, commerce, finance and industry; the professions; charitable sectors; academic research; politics and government; the arts; and as entrepreneurs. The reason for this success is that we admit the most academically able and motivated students to our courses, and provide them with inspiring teaching, exceptional personal support, and a wide range of opportunities to acquire the skills necessary for them to succeed after graduating.”

Overall our universities are something to be proud of. These classic institutions go back hundreds of years, educating the likes of Oscar Wilde, Edwin Hubble, and T.S Eliot at Oxford, whilst Cambridge University educated King George VI and Britain’s first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole.

Top Ten UK Universities according to the ‘Times Higher Education World University Rankings’

University of Oxford
University of Cambridge
Imperial College London
University College London
London School of Economics and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
Kings College London
University of Manchester
University of Bristol
University of Glasgow
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