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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

UK universities surge up world league table


British universities have excelled in this year’s world rankings thanks to breakthrough Covid research which led the fight against the pandemic.

The annual World University Rankings, published today, show Oxford has managed to retain its top spot for the sixth consecutive year.

Oxford, where the AstraZeneca vaccine was developed under Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, is well-known for its contribution to fighting Covid. 

In May, it announced a new Pandemic Sciences Centre, which will investigate how to reduce death tolls in any future pandemics.

The annual World University Rankings, published today, showed several British institutions in excelling in the league table thanks to breakthrough Covid research which led the fight against the pandemic. Pictured: Oxford University, which retained is top spot for the sixth year

Meanwhile Cambridge, which jumped from sixth place to fifth this year, pumped out weekly research during the pandemic to inform government scientists

Meanwhile Cambridge, which jumped from sixth place to fifth this year, pumped out weekly research during the pandemic to inform government scientists

Meanwhile Cambridge, which jumped from sixth place to fifth this year, pumped out weekly research during the pandemic to inform government scientists.

But lesser-known institutions have also been credited for their pandemic effort in the rankings, including Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, Lancashire, and Derby University.

Judges said those two universities’ ranking improvement was a ‘direct result of citations from their Covid-19 focused research’.

Edge Hill, a former college which became a university in 2006, is rated ‘gold’ for teaching by the government watchdog but has always ranked low in international league tables.

Although still low this year, it has jumped from being in the 1,000+ category to 801-1,000.

All the top ten universities are in the US, aside from Oxford and Cambridge. These include California Institute of Technology, Harvard, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton

All the top ten universities are in the US, aside from Oxford and Cambridge. These include California Institute of Technology, Harvard, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton

The table lists low-ranking universities in bands rather than as individual rankings as so many places were tied.

Times Higher Education Magazine, which runs the rankings, said the reason for the jump was a ‘statistical clinical study and a medical research paper’ which aided the Covid fight.

Similarly, Derby, which became a university in 1992, jumped from 801-1,000 to 601-800 due to research on ‘public health compliance’ with Covid measures.

Overall, 19 of the UK’s 28 universities in the top 200 improved or maintained their previous ranking positions.

This year¿s table features 1,622 universities from 99 countries. The UK was the third most represented in the list. Pictured: UCL was in 18th place

This year’s table features 1,622 universities from 99 countries. The UK was the third most represented in the list. Pictured: UCL was in 18th place

The rankings, for 2022, are compiled by world-leading experts, who this year analysed 14.4million research publications to make their decision. Pictured: Imperial was in 12th place

The rankings, for 2022, are compiled by world-leading experts, who this year analysed 14.4million research publications to make their decision. Pictured: Imperial was in 12th place

These included the University of Manchester, which moved into the top 50 for the first time.

A spokesman for Times Higher Education said: ‘In a year dominated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the rankings reflect the vital role of universities in understanding and managing the crisis as a number of institutions see significant boosts in their citation scores.’

Professor Louise Richardson, vice chancellor of Oxford University, said: ‘My colleagues and I are absolutely delighted.

‘This past year has demonstrated to our publics, our governments, and even to ourselves just how much universities can contribute to society.’

This year’s table features 1,622 universities from 99 countries. The UK was the third most represented in the list.

The rankings, for 2022, are compiled by world-leading experts, who this year analysed 14.4million research publications to make their decision. They also surveyed 22,000 academics and examined data on teaching and research.

All the top ten universities are in the US, aside from Oxford and Cambridge. These include California Institute of Technology, Harvard, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton.

The rankings are important in the recruitment of students. Although they are based heavily on the publications universities put out, parents and pupils are still attracted to those that score highly because of the prestige.



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