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By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial
12 March, 2014
A definitive global survey on academic prestige has found that the reputations of British and Australian universities have declined, and that US institutions increasingly dominate.
The fourth annual Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings was launched at a British Council event in Tokyo. Dr Halima Begum of the council described the UK's overall decline as worrying, and noted that the figures show Australia had taken a hit. She also described Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Seoul University as "rising stars."
According to the survey, the top three institutions are Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford, followed by Cambridge and Oxford, both slipping one place in the latest rankings. While several of the UK's top institutions have declined in the latest rankings, the UK still has ten institutions in the top 100, six of which are in London: Imperial College (up one place to 13th), the London School of Economics (up one place to 24th), University College London (down five places to 25th), King's College London (up from the 61-70 band to joint 43rd), the London Business School and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (both new entrants in the 91-100 band). Outside London, Edinburgh stays at 46th place and the University of Manchester is down from 47th into the 51-60 band.
The top university in Asia is Tokyo University, down one position at 11th place, while the best university in Hong Kong, at 43rd, is the University of Hong Kong. In Australia, the University of Melbourne went down four places to joint 43, and is now the only Australian institution in the top 50 compared with three in 2013.
The survey is based on data from an invitation-only poll of 10,536 senior academics based in 133 countries, who offered their views on excellence in research and teaching within their disciplines and at institutions with which they are familiar. Respondents were asked "action-based" questions, such as: "Which university would you send your most talented graduates to for the best postgraduate supervision?" Ranking scores are based on teaching (30 percent), research (30 percent), citation and research influence (30 percent), industry income (2.5 percent) and international outlook (7.5 per cent). However, the ranking does not necessarily reflect student satisfaction or student outcomes.
United Nations data was used to ensure that the ranking reflects the demographics of world scholarship, and the ranking is evenly spread across academic disciplines. The poll was carried out by Ipsos MediaCT for Thomson Reuters.
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