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The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 – Not much change among the top 10

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine. The rankings feature research-intensive universities and use 13 performance indicators grouped into 5 areas, including Teaching, Research, Citations, International Outlook, and Industry Income. The 2018 rankings give a bigger picture than ever before, as more data from more institutions was included in the rankings. The number of universities featured in the rankings now totals 1,000 institutions.

The 2018 Rankings’ table for engineering and technology employs the same performance indicators used in the overall rankings, but the methodology has been adapted to suit the individual fields. It highlights the universities that are leading across electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical and general engineering subjects. To view the rankings, please visit the homepage of Times Higher Education.

Three US universities can be found in the top 5 this year, despite the fact that US universities were facing severe budget cuts: Stanford University (1st), the California Institute of Technology (2nd), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (4th). Caltech and Stanford were also hurt by a decreased PhD-to-bachelor ratio. Caltech and Stanford received 95.1 and 93.7 points, respectively. In general, quite a few of the US’ top-200 representatives had to deal with drops in their research income per academic staff member. Also, the Trump administration plans to spend less on federal research funding.

The University of Oxford as well as the University of Cambridge have held on to 3rd and 5th positions for the second year in a row. Both universities received a boost in revenue (by 11 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively). Experts, however, fear that Brexit could have an influence on the global position of the UK’s leading universities. Almost a quarter of Cambridge’s research funding from competitive grants comes from the European Union, while the proportion at the University of Oxford is about a fifth. Oxford received an overall score of 93.5, whereas Cambridge’s score amounted to 92.9.

Two Asian universities also feature in the top 10 of this year’s rankings: Peking University (7th place) with an overall score of 88.9 and the National University of Singapore (8th place), receiving a total score of 88.7. This can be attributed to the fact that China and other Asian nations invest high percentages of GDP into higher education. The National University of Singapore takes an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to research, working with partners from industry, government and academia. Its research facilities cover a wide range of themes, including, for example, energy and environmental and urban sustainability. China is a major force in global higher education, with institutions to rival the best in the US and Europe. ETH Zurich (9th position) and Imperial College London (10th position) round out the top 10.

In the 2018 rankings, 102 US universities were included in the rankings. Four of them were ranked in the top 10. The UK managed to occupy 46 positions, whereas China had 40 universities included. The rankings also feature 5 Singaporean universities.