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
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.