University of Oxford Tops World University Ranking List


Times Higher Education recently released the World University Rankings (WUR) 2016-2017 and for the first time in the 12 year history of the list, a non-American university takes the top spot. The University of Oxford bumped Pasadena-based California Institute of Technology (CalTech) to second place.

According to the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine who ranked 980 universities around the globe, based on 13 calibrated performance indicators that provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available. Millions of books and research output also examined.

Phil Baty, ranking editor at the THE said, "WUR tends to focus on research, counting metrics like the number of citations and publications by a university's scholars and the amount of research funding attained in a given year. The list also takes reputation into account by surveying some 20,000 leading scholars to identify top schools."

THE also used the services of independent audit firm PricewaterhouseCooper (PWC) to ensure correct calculation of the rankings.

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, founded in 1096. Oxford's exceptional research income, about £522.9 million or roughly $679 million for the academic year 2014-2015, together with its global reach and collaboration boosted the university's performance.

Oxford Vice Chancellor Louise Richardson said, "Industry, charities, health organizations and many other funders are all keen to invest in Oxford research."

CalTech, a small private school founded in 1891 have been ranked as number 1 five times in a row. The university is known for its world class research and is funded by government agencies such as NASA, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Department of Energy and Human Services and the Department of Health.

The university also manages a number of observatories and science centers and has produced an impressive roster of internationally recognized alumni.

Apart from the switch at the top of the list, everything that follows is pretty much the same.

While U.S. no longer holds the top spot, American universities continue to dominate the list with Stanford University coming in at third place followed by another famous university founded in the middle ages, The University of Cambridge came in fourth.

Massachusetts neighbors Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University at fifth and sixth places respectively.

The top 10 list is completed with Princeton University at the 7th place, Imperial College London at 8th, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at 9th, and tied at the number 10 spot is the University of California Berkeley and the University of Chicago.

It's worth mentioning that Asian universities have performed really well in this year's rankings, some of them overtaking prestigious universities in the U.S. and Europe.

Universities from China, Hong Kong and Singapore have all made it to the top 50. The highest-ranking Asian university on the list is the National University of Singapore (NUS) placed at number 24. NUS outranked Ivy League Brown University which came in at 51 and the London School of Economics and political science.

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