Britain and America still dominate list of best universities


Why is it that American and British universities - and not those from Canada, Europe or elsewhere - always finish in the highest positions in the list of the world's besyt universities? Are Canadian and Continental European universities just not very good?

Britain also has more NEW entrants than any other country in the list of the world's best universities, more even than the United States.

Cambridge is No2 in the world and Oxford is No3. Only American and British universities feature in the Top 10. Canada has only 3 universities in the Top 100 and Britain has 15, second only to the United States. The nearest European competitor to Britain is France - which has just 5.

Harvard, in the world's richest country, is the world's top university. Its endowment of $26 billion exeeds the total annual funding for ALL British universities, although the gap between Harvard and Cambridge has been reduced by a great amount.

Cambridge - the world's 2nd-best university. The list is dominated by the Americans and British.

Britain and America dominate list of best universities

By Alexandra Frean, Education Editor
September 5, 2006
The Times (external - login to view)

CAMBRIDGE and Oxford now rank among the top three universities in the world, second only to Harvard in the US, according to the latest global rankings published today.

Both British universities have moved up in the rankings for 2006, with Cambridge knocking the Massachusetts Institute of Technology off the No 2 position and Oxford advancing from fourth position to third. MIT is tied for fourth place with another US university, Yale.

The findings will bring cheer to Britain’s higher education sector at a time when some universities are giving warning that chronic underfunding of undergraduate teaching, poor cost recovery on research contracts, salary rises and increased administration costs are pushing their accounts into the red.

This week Oxford said that it was facing a “grave deficit” in its teaching accounts and that an increase in tuition fees was inevitable if standards were to be maintained.

Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of Bristol University, said yesterday that the new £3,000 tuition fee limit was not enough to fund higher education and suggested it should rise to £5,000 a year.

Despite these concerns the university world rankings, produced by The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES), confirm Britain’s position as a centre of global educational importance.

Harvard, whose endowment of $26 billion (£13.8 billion) exceeds total annual funding for all British universities, tops the table but its lead over its closest rival has fallen, from 13 per cent last year to just over 3 per cent over Cambridge this year.

Britain has three universities in the top ten, with Imperial College London moving up from thirteenth place to ninth. All others in the top ten are American.

London’s dominance was confirmed with three other universities in the top 50, the London School of Economics at 17 (down from 11 last year), University College London at 25 (28 last year) and Kings College London moving from 73rd last year to 46th.

In all, Britain has 29 universities in the top 200, up from 23 last year. It also has more new entrants than any other country, with Cardiff and Southampton both at 141, Reading at 190 and Aberdeen at 195.

The rankings were based on a survey for the THES of 3,703 academics worldwide, who were asked to identify up to 30 universities best for research within their own field of expertise. This ensures that the rankings are topical and liable to change from year to year if institutions do not maintain research standards.

The table also includes data from 736 graduate employers from around the world, as well as the ratio of faculty to student numbers and a university’s success in attracting foreign students and internationally renowned academics.

The five factors were weighted and transformed into a scale giving the top university 100 points and ranking the others as a proportion of that score. Ian Leslie, the Pro-ViceChancellor of Cambridge, said: “It is very reassuring that the collegiate systems of Cambridge and Oxford continue to be valued and respected by peers, and that the excellence of teaching and of research at both institutions is reflected in this ranking.”

John Hood, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, said: “Our place among the handful of truly world-class universities, despite the financial challenges we face, is testament to the quality and the drive of the members of this university.”

John O’Leary, Editor of the THES, said that the rankings underlined the fierce competition between leading universities.

“The presence of so many American and British universities at the top of the ranking owes something to the dominance of English as a world language in academic life as well as in business, but by every measure these are outstanding institutions.

“Thirty different countries are represented in our top 200 so international competition is still intense — the leading Chinese universities have made real progress this year, for example, and will no doubt challenge the leaders in years to come,” he said.
Last edited by Blackleaf; Oct 5th, 2006 at 01:50 PM..
To me these lists mean nothing except for those who want to get into Ivy League Universitys. It's not a suprise that Harvard scored top rank because it's a very prestious university where only the very best students can even think about attending.
Yeah, I dont put much into these lists. Macleans list of top schools doesn't mean much either.
Hey. Didn't G.W. Bush go to Harvard? I think if daddy has enough money, anyone can graduate from Harvard.
Yep. Just got thru reading an article in the Economist a/b how many of these elite American schools have legacy programs where applicants whose parents were alum can get in even w/very mediocre grades. The article mentioned both George W. and John Kerry as examples. Both were C students. At Harvard specifcally, %40 of their candidates are admitted as "legacies."
It's a bogus list.

I mean any list that puts that girly school, McGill, in front of Canada's greatest post-secondary institution, the University of Toronto, was obviously done by people on crack!

Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

Hey. Didn't G.W. Bush go to Harvard? I think if daddy has enough money, anyone can graduate from Harvard.

Oxford and Cambridge are worse than Harvard. At least Harvard has some standards to get in. If you're blood was blue enough, any upper class twit could get into Oxford and Cambridge!
Dexter Sinister
Yeah, and if your accent is wrong, you can't, no matter how bright you are.

English blood is superior to any other on Earth. Isn't it normal that British and American universities are the best?
Originally Posted by Toro
Oxford and Cambridge are worse than Harvard. At least Harvard has some standards to get in. If you're blood was blue enough, any upper class twit could get into Oxford and Cambridge!

NOTHINGS worse than Harvard! a bunch of spoiled rapists that can do anything and get by with it. I Went to Lesley, the sister school. Was raped on Harvard yard and kicked out of school for trying to commit suicide because of it. Not one of those boys were charged and I was expelled. Money talks and victims walk in that place
I think not
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post


English blood is superior to any other on Earth. Isn't it normal that British and American universities are the best?

Quote: Originally Posted by I think notView Post

Sorry... I thought the sarcasm would be striking....
I think not
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

Sorry... I thought the sarcasm would be striking....

Ok! Wasn't sure.

I have no idea why Harvard merits such a lofty position. The U has been exposed as a fraud many times in the past. Many graduates have reported doing virtually nothing while there and still easily graduating. If you've got the money, Harvard has a degree for you. I still think a small university is the way to go. More expectations, higher standards and a chance to be a player in a focused, intense setting. I feel sorry for the grads of big institutions. Most simply lack the skills to make it in the real world. Usually daddy or mommy is busy networking so their little genius can get a cushy job.
It's really funny that we have students from the U.K, as well as the USA and a lot of other countries attending our universities. Both McGill and Queens have excellent medical schools. Simon Fraser is well respected in the field of computer science. U of Alberta and UBC both have excellent engineering schools The list is both narrow and childish. I studied engineering at UBC but I was accepted at every American university I applied to. No doubt some schools are better in some fields than some others, but to rate them all as this list does is bull.
As I wrote before "best" doesn't mean diddly

Which school would be "best" for your area of study is the way to go - if you have only generalized plans such as law or business administration or the classics, some of the high class "name" universities would
be an asset in later life, but do not guarantee that you will be any more learned than you would be attending a lesser school.

The more prestigious schools however can attract more prestigious professors - so one has the opportunity of study under a "name" which paves the way for future success.

It's really a crap shoot because if you are a mediocre student the school you attend is not going to do you
much good in your field unless you learn something and graduate with outstanding qualifications.

The list is nothing more than a whoopdedo PR job... someone is slickin his own path.
Last edited by Curiosity; Oct 8th, 2006 at 08:44 PM..

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