Cambridge crush Oxford in Uni rankings

Andrew Georgiou - News Reporter 19 October 2009

Cambridge University was ranked second in the world in the 2009 Times Higher Education league table published last Thursday.

Cambridge rose from third place last year, overtaking USA’s Yale University to reach second.

The table, compiled in collaboration with the QS global career and education network, positioned universities according to a survey of 9,000 academics and 3,000 employers as well as calculations such as faculty-to-student ratios.

The rankings were also dependent upon the research performance of institutions and the number of international students that they attract.

A spokesperson for the University celebrated the achievement: “While all university league tables over-simplify the range of achievements at these institutions, it is clear that Cambridge continues to be valued and to produce outstanding results. This ranking reflects the excellence of our staff and students.”

Cambridge was also ranked as the best university in the world for Natural Sciences.

Oxford University did not enjoy similar success. Beaten by the resurgent University College London, which in 2004 was not even among the top 30, it slipped one position to joint fifth with Imperial College London. This is the worst placing for Oxford since the table began in 2004; it was ranked second only two years ago.

Although Oxford received fullmarks in the opinion survey of academics and top marks in the employer survey, it performed less well with regard to research. Its research papers were cited less times worldwide than those of the institutions above it.

Oxford’s fall in the international rankings comes soon after its outgoing Vice-Chancellor Dr John Hood warned in his farewell speech that the university risked losing its international standing unless it receives a £1 billion injection to bring its “unfit for purpose” facilities up to a world-class standard.

British and American universities continue to dominate the league. Over a quarter of the institutions in the top 200 are American and around 15% are British ,with four out of the top six universities being British institutions. However, Asian universities are beginning to challenge Western dominance, with 16 universities in the top 100.

Andrew Georgiou – News Reporter