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October 6, 2011

Times Higher Education Announces World University Rankings 2011-12

World University Rankings

Times Higher Education World University Rankings, unveiled today, spring a surprise at the top, where Harvard University is dethroned by the California Institute of Technology. Caltech snatches first place thanks mainly to a 16 per cent rise in research funding.

In terms of overall number of institutions in the top 200, the US leads the way with 75, followed by the UK (32), Germany (12), the Netherlands (12) and Canada (9).

World University Rankings


  1. California Institute of Technology
  2. Harvard University
  3. Stanford University
  4. University of Oxford
  5. Princeton University
  6. University of Cambridge
  7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  8. Imperial College London
  9. University of Chicago
  10. University of California, Berkeley

World University Rankings

According to John Morgan, deputy news editor at Times Higher Education, “Switzerland and the UK have the best-value higher education systems in the world while the US languishes in 16th place.”

“When the table is adjusted for national spending on higher education, Switzerland has the most universities in the top 200 per billion dollars spent, followed by the UK in second place and the Netherlands in third. The US finishes 16th by this measure (see graph below),” explains Morgan.

Critics of the higher education reforms in England, where the bulk of public funding is being replaced with private investment in the form of higher tuition fees, see the rankings as a warning against any shift to a market-driven US model.

Howard Hotson, professor of early modern intellectual history at the University of Oxford, who has become a prominent critic of his government’s higher education policy, said: “You can turn the data from the World University Rankings upside down and inside out…to measure different things; but the end results are more or less the same.

“Several small and prosperous countries - notably the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark - do best in per capita terms; the UK comes at or near the top of the value-for-money table; and Switzerland does exceptionally well across the board.

“The US, by contrast, offers unimpressive performance in per capita terms and very poor value for money.” He added: “Although many of the world’s very best universities are private, all the world’s best university systems are public…All this puts a fresh onus on the UK minister for universities and science - and on his counterparts in other countries - to provide equally clear and compelling evidence to justify radical market-driven reforms.”

World University Rankings

Many US public universities - notably those in California - have slipped in the rankings as funding falls amid state budget crises.

But Don Heller, professor of education and senior scientist at Pennsylvania State University, said it would “take a number of years of downturn” to damage the research reputation of US universities. “Most of the research funding in the US comes from the federal government. That hasn’t been cut and has gone up a bit, in comparison to general funding from the states.”

[The U.S. Department of Education has confirmed to the Publisher of GlobalGiants.Com that the U.S. federal government takes great interest in university research and directly provides a large amount of research funds to universities and colleges.]

Bruce Johnstone, emeritus professor of higher and comparative education at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, predicted that the US would remain globally dominant. “The bottom line is the US gives a tremendous amount of money to higher education because of the combination of taxpayer revenue, tuition revenue and philanthropic revenue,” he said. Professor Johnstone highlighted philanthropy as an income source not available to competitor nations.


World University Rankings

World University Rankings

World University Rankings

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 12:20 PM | Link to this Post

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