Oxford Tops University Rankings For Record Seventh Year As U.S. Slide Continues – Forbes

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Oxford University has been named the world’s best for the seventh year in a row (Photo by … [+] RDImages/Epics/Getty Images)
Oxford has been named the world’s best university for a seventh year in a row, as the U.S. continues its slide down the rankings.
Oxford has maintained its record-breaking grip on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, although U.K. rival Cambridge is closing the gap, rising from sixth two years ago to third.
California Institute of Technology is the big casualty inside the top 10, falling from second last year to sixth.
And while the U.S. retains its position as the major global force in higher education, universities in Asia in particular are gradually narrowing the gap.
The U.S. has seven of the top 10 universities and 12 of the top 20, but further down the list it is a different picture.
From a peak of 43 universities in the top 100 five years ago, the U.S. now has 34. China heads in the opposite direction, moving from two in the top 100 to seven over the same period.
But while some rebalancing is inevitable as emerging higher education systems catch-up with their more established rivals, overall U.S. dominance is unlikely to be seriously challenged any time soon.
The Times Higher Education rankings are one of the three leading university rankings, alongside the QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Times Higher Education measures universities across 13 different metrics covering teaching, research and citations, as well as international outlook and industry income.
This year’s top 10, with last year’s ranking in brackets, are:
1 (1) Oxford University (U.K.)
2 (2=) Harvard University (U.S.)
3= (5=) Cambridge University (U.K.)
3= (4) Stanford University (U.S.)
5 (5=) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.)
6 (2=) California Institute of Technology (U.S.)
7 (7) Princeton University (U.S.)
8 (8) University of California, Berkeley (U.S.)
9 (9) Yale University (U.S.)
10 (12) Imperial College London (U.K.)
Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Oxford’s vice chancellor, Professor Dame Louise Richardson, said she was delighted that the university had been ranked the best in the world for the seventh consecutive year.
Professor Dame Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford (Photo by Jonathan … [+] Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)
Above all, I am indebted to the extraordinary women and men of Oxford whose research and teaching continues to excite our imaginations, broaden our horizons, cure disease and explore deeply difficult problems for the betterment of society,” she said.
Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer for Times Higher Education, said the U.K.’s continued strong showing came despite concerns that it would become increasingly detached from European research and funding following Brexit.
But some leading U.K. universities fell down the rankings and research income was slipping behind that of their continental rivals, he said.
“The UK has been remarkably resilient in global higher education, continuing to punch well above its weight,” he added.
“But the warning signs remain, and there is no room for complacency. You have to run very fast to stand still in the global rankings and losing ground can risk a vicious circle of gradually losing access to global talent and partnerships.”
Despite slipping down the rankings, the U.S. remains the dominant player in global higher education, with 58 universities in the top 200, more than double that of its nearest challenger, the U.K., which has 28.
Harvard is the highest-ranked U.S. university (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
Harvard remains the top ranked U.S. institution. The University of Chicago slips out of the top 10, from 10 to 13, while Cornell University breaks into the top 20, from 22nd to 20th.
China claims its highest-ever spot, with Tsinghua University moving into 16th, overtaking Peking University, in 17th. Nanjing University moves into the top 100 for the first time, at 95th, and China now has 11 universities inside the top 200.
Japan has the second highest number of universities in the rankings, with 117, behind only the 177 of the U.S. Tokyo University is Japan’s highest placed at 39th, with Kyoto University also in the top 100, at 68th, although both lost ground from last year.
Singapore enters the top 20 for the first time, with the National University of Singapore rising from 21st to 19th. Taiwan has its highest-ever number of entries in the rankings, at 43, up from 25 in 2016.
The Middle East saw some of the biggest rises, with King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia leaping from 190th to 101st to become the region’s highest ranked university. The University of Sharjah and the United Arab Emirates University also made large gains as the United Arab Emirates’ top ranked institutions, while Egypt had the region’s most entries in the rankings overall, with 26.
While more established countries continue to shine at the upper end of the rankings, Baty said there is no mistaking the overall pattern.
“The data is very clear: we are seeing a real shift in the balance of power in the global knowledge economy, away from the traditionally dominant western world,” he said.
“While the U.S. and U.K. remain dominant in terms of their representation at the very top of the rankings, their relative power is waning: mainland China leads a strengthening in East Asia, taking more and more of the top 200 places, and the Middle East is seeing a real renaissance in higher education.”
India becomes the sixth most represented country in the rankings, with 75, up from 31 in 2017. Indian Institute of Sciences is its highest placed, in the 251-300 bracket.
This year sees a record 97 African universities ranked, from 71 just a year ago, with the University of Cape Town in South Africa the highest-rated, at 160th.
ETH Zurich is Europe’s highest ranked non-U.K. university, rising to 11th from 19th last year, and the Technical University of Munich, the highest-ranked German university, climbs eight places to 30th. The leading French institution, Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris, slides from 40th to 47th.
The University of Toronto, at 18th, is the highest of Canada’s four universities in the top 100 and 31 in the rankings overall.
Australia now has seven universities in the top 100, up from six last year, with the University of Melbourne the highest ranked, at 33rd. New Zealand’s top three universities all lost ground, with the University of Auckland the highest placed at 139th.
The University of Sao Paolo in Brazil is the highest ranked from Latin America and the Caribbean, in the 201-250 banding, with Brazil represented by 62 universities, just under half the 140 for the region as a whole.

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