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Academics around the world were asked, for the fifth year in a row, to nominate up to 10 of the best institutions of higher education in their field of expertise, resulting in the 2015 Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings. The results show the UK shining brighter, with 12 of the 100 most renowned universities around the world, up from 10 last year. Notably, Cambridge and Oxford improved their standing, claiming places 2 and 3 respectively under Harvard University, which again was chosen as number one.
Despite the UK’s improved position in the rankings, the US remains undisputedly dominant, with 43 out of the top 100 universities and eight of the top 10. Also unchanged were the six highest-ranked institutions, the so-called “super brands” which, despite trading places with one another, have remained constant at the top of the list for five years. These are: Harvard University, Cambridge, Oxford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Germany continues to be the best-represented country after the US and the UK, with six institutions among the top 100. France had a particularly good year, with five top 100 universities up from two last year. Meanwhile, the University of Tokyo, which slipped to number 12 from 11 last year, remains the highest ranking university from a non-Anglo-American nation.
Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education Rankings, openly acknowledges the shortcomings of this ranking, which is “based purely on subjective judgment.” Yet, as he points out, “it is the expert subjective judgement of those who know most about excellent teaching and research – leading academics from around the world. And their opinion matters.” A university’s reputation is vital, as it plays a major role in attracting the best academic talent, one of higher institutions’ greatest assets.THE World Reputation Rankings (results) THE World Reputation Rankings (press release)