There has always been competition between elite schools. From both sides of the Atlantic prestigious higher education institutions compete for first place in rankings. Future students look at these rankings to maybe help make a decision. And for the schools themselves it is a matter of pride to be listed.
The United States has one of the best educational systems in the world. Also, it has some of the best universities. But this year the number one spot in a global ranking went to a British university.
Oxford in First Place, Caltech Second
Times Higher Education is a magazine in London that writes on higher education. It released the World University Rankings, a top of the best higher education institutions in the world. The magazine puts together these rankings every year.
For the past five years the California Institute of Technology held the number one spot. It is a small and private school in Pasadena, California. But this year the number one spot went to a different university in Europe.
Number one was the University of Oxford. The university is the oldest one in the English language. It was founded in 1096. It took the number one place from the California Institute of Technology, who is now in second place.
The World University Rankings has a history of being published yearly for the past thirteen years. This is the first time in thirteen years that a university from outside of the United States gets first place.
Other changes in the list happened with regard to higher education institutions in Asia. Schools from China and Hong Kong have gone up in the list Sometimes the difference is as significant as a double-digit move.
Other Universities Kept Their Places
The top of the list remained for the most part the same as in the previous year. Oxford and Caltech traded places. But the rest of the universities remain static in the rankings.
Third place went to Stanford University, while the at fourth place there was another British University. A university with a history going as far back as medieval times, Cambridge University. So the most prestigious universities in the UK, Oxford and Cambridge got first place and fourth place, respectively.
Fifth place went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Number six on the list was Harvard University. Harvard is a prestigious school and the top school belonging to the Ivy League on the list.
American schools make up about a third of the first 200 schools, about the same as last year. British schools are 16 percent of the list, down one percent from last year. Germany has 11 percent of the schools on the list, up one percent from last year.
The way the magazine elaborates the World University Rankings, the focus tends to be on research. They look at the number of citations and publications achieved by the scholars of the university in a year. They also look at how much research funding a higher education institution has obtained in an academic year.
Image source: here.