As per the recent “Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings,” British universities have slipped down the ranks considerably, but the lost ground has been covered up by Asian universities. Compared to 10 Asian Universities ranked last year, this year there are 17 in the list.

The highest rated Asian Universities are: 

  • University of Tokyo in Japan at 12th rank
  • China’s Tsinghua University at 18th rank
  • Peking University at 21st rank
  • National University of Singapore at 26th rank.

The 2016 rankings survey was carried out between January 2016 and March 2016 & a total of 10,323 responses were received from 133 countries.

The rankings were based on the global reputation and perceived status and not research and teaching quality of the universities. It is an indubitable fact that the UK is slipping in the international rankings.

There are many reasons for this fall, some of which are:

  • British Government has forced the universities to focus on diversity and are now giving admissions to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • The institutions are not recruiting enough high-quality staff from foreign countries due to increasing restrictions on visas.
  • Insufficient funds are also assumed to be one of the prime reasons.


Here’s a list of World’s 10 most prestigious universities 2016:

2016 reputation rank 2015 reputation rank Institution Country 2015-16 WUR position
1 1 Harvard University United States 6
2 4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States 5
3 5 Stanford University United States 3
4 2 University of Cambridge United Kingdom 4
5 3 University of Oxford United Kingdom 2
6 6 University of California, Berkeley United States 13
7 7 Princeton University United States 7
8 8 Yale University United States 12
9 10 Columbia University United States 15
10 9 California Institute of Technology United States 1

Source: Times Higher Education

Government policies and restrictions on visas have significantly affected the position of British universities. Cambridge and Oxford have moved down from second and third rank to fourth and fifth respectively. The ranking  table also shows that Bristol and Durham Universities have fallen out of the list of top 100.

These facts alone do not necessarily depict that the British Universities are denigrating in terms of quality and reputation but certainly it is an alarming situation for UK.

In this regard, Phil Baty, (rankings editor for Times Higher Education) further adds that, “The UK will have to ensure that it can still draw in talent and investment from across the world and it does not lose its position at the heart of higher education’s global elite.”

In spite of this fall, UK still contributes 10% in the ranking of top 100 universities of the world. Though Asian Institutions rapidly rise up the table, UK has its universities at a reputed place.

Key Takeaways:

  • UK drooped considerably in the list of top 100 universities of the world.
  • US persistently maintained the first position and dominated the rankings with 43 institutions in the top 100.
  • Asia came up with 17 universities listed in the top 100 universities.
  • Netherlands dropped back with four of its five representatives losing places in the ranking.
  • Denmark and Finland no longer make the top 100 at all.
  • Sweden has two universities in the top 100 for the first time since 2013, up from a single representative last year.
  • The number of UK universities in the top 100 has also dropped from 12 to 10. Bristol and Durham have been knocked out from the list of top 100 altogether.
  • Cambridge and Oxford University (UK) has dropped down from second and third position last year to fourth and fifth this year.


Posted by Shradha Krishali

An art-lover. A strong believer that your actions define the course of your life.

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  1. […] Higher Education annually ranks the top universities worldwide. It ranks the universities on the basis of the quality of education, […]

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