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Best universities in the world

Best universities in the world – are you interested? Harvard tops list of world university rankings again but Cambridge and Oxford lead continuing climb for UK institutions.

The new international rankings from Times Higher Education sees Cambridge and Oxford performing strongly ahead of prestigious American universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, Berkely, Princeton, Yale and Columbia.

The latest rankings by reputation sees 12 universities listed this year, up from 10 last year and nine in 2013.

Both Cambridge and Oxford have moved up by at least one place, cementing their place in an elite group of six “super brands” for a fifth year in a row, according to the authors, which they claim are a “head and shoulders above the rest”.

There appears to be a “golden triangle” in the UK between Oxford, Cambridge and London appearing in the list, with other top ranking universities including Imperial College London and University College London appearing in the top 20, with the London School of Economics and Political Science ranking just outside in 22nd place.

While the position of these universities within the “global elite” is expected to help draw talent and investment from across the world, it “must be a concern” to the institutions outside of these regions that so many institutions are located within this golden triangle, Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education Rankings said.

“Leeds and Sheffield universities both dropped out of the top 100 a few years ago, and there is no place for flagship universities of major cities including Birmingham and Liverpool.

“There is a risk that if resources for universities become even more scarce after the election, whoever wins, the rich of the South East will keep getting richer at the expense of the rest of the country.

“Strong universities are central to thriving local economies, and it is important that the UK does not make the mistake of starving its regions of skills, science and innovation,” he added.