Tuesday, September 16, 2014

4 of the world’s top 5 universities in UK, 5 London universities in top 100

Four of the world's top five universities are in UK with London being the only city in the world with five universities in the top 100, according to the latest global university rankings. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has emerged as the world's top university but it was Imperial College London that has made news. Imperial has soared up the rankings this year to secure second place behind MIT making it the top UK university in the tables equal with Cambridge for the first time ever.

The performance of Imperial College London in citations per faculty has helped it become the biggest climber in the top 10, leapfrogging Harvard, University College London (UK) and The University of Oxford (UK) to rank second equal in the world, tied with the University of Cambridge.

A total of 31 countries are represented in the Top 200; the US remains the dominant nation with 51 institutions, 11 of which are in the Top 20. The US dominates also for research impact with seven of the 10 top spots in the citations per faculty indicator.

After the US, the countries with the most universities in the top 200 are: UK (29), Germany (13), the Netherlands (11), Canada (10), Japan (10) and Australia (8). 

The global emphasis on high-impact scientific and technological research is the key driver of leadership in the QS World University Rankings. 

The rankings are, for the third year, led by MIT which increased year-on-year citations per faculty by 14%. Imperial College London (UK) also reported a 14% increase in this metric compared to 11% by The University of Cambridge (UK) and 2% by Harvard. The average increase in this dimension amongst the top 10 was 7%. Caltech remains the world's top university for research citations.

All the top 10 institutions achieve excellence in academic reputation, employer reputation, student faculty ratio or measures of international faculty and students. 

London is the only city in the world with five universities in the Top 100, more than Boston and Hong Kong (3), New York, Paris, Tokyo, Melbourne and Beijing (2).

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, "These rankings consolidate London's position as the education capital of the world. Nowhere else will you find such a critical mass of top universities within just a few miles of each other, all providing an excellent education and producing graduates who go on to be leaders in their fields". 

London's other world-beating universities include King's College London at 16, London School of Economics (LSE) at 71, and Queen Mary University of London at 98. No other city has as many universities in the overall rankings, with London topping the table with 18.

Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London said "Imperial has a rare ability to turn outstanding research into discoveries that have a real impact on the world. To achieve this, our scientists, engineers, medics and business scholars reach out and collaborate with academic and industry partners across the globe. This engagement coupled with our entrepreneurial culture creates enormous academic, social and economic impact."

Ben Sowter, head of research at QS, added: "In the wake of the recession, both governments and private sector funding sources are placing greater emphasis on high-impact STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) research, much of which takes place in specialist institutions".

"Tech-focused institutions are increasingly the focal point of a global race for innovation. With budgets from public sources increasingly coming under strain, institutions seem more focused than ever on potentially lucrative research in science, technology and medicine."

Source: The Times of India (Online Edition), September 16, 2014

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