The UK-based Times Higher Education Magazine published its 2012 world’s top universities ranking today. As of 15 March 2012, U.S. Harvard University tops the rank, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also from the U.S., and the University of Cambridge of U.K. - an unchanged top three from last year’s inaugural survey.
The magazine compiled its report by asking 17,554 experienced academics in 137 countries to rate universities in two areas: research and teaching. Each institution’s rank was based on the number of times it was nominated as ‘the best’ in its field. Research was given twice as much weight as teaching when it came to working out the final score.
The U.S. dominates the rankings, with 44 universities in the global top 100, followed by the UK with 10 universities. Both nations however, have lost ground to universities in East Asia and continental Europe.
There is one Asian university, Japan’s University of Tokyo, in top 10, while the rest are British or American. Despite that, universities in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore all rose this year. Asia now has 15 universities in the top 100, 5 from Japan. Among the Asians, 13 are from East Asia and 2 from Southeast Asia, both in Singapore. None from South Asia made the list
Germany’s top universities, led by Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, have also enjoyed a rise in overall prestige, following increased investment from the German government’s Excellence Initiative.
3 universities from Middle East made the list, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv University from Israel, and the Middle East Technical University of Turkey. Only 1 university in Latin America, Brazil’s University of Sao Paolo entered the list. There is no representation in the top 100 universities from Africa.
Australia, lead by University of Melbourne, has 4 in the list, while Canada 3. Continental Europe (with UK excluded) has 17 in the list.
Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities - which represents all 10 UK entries in the top 100 - suggested that the rise of other countries’ institutions reflected greater state investment in higher education.
“The UK’s leading universities punch well above their weight, and their global reputation remains very strong,” she said. "But we are concerned that our global competitors in the US, East Asia and Europe are pumping billions into higher education, and money really matters.
“If the UK is to remain a global leader in higher education, the government must concentrate investment where it will have the most impact: in our world-class research-intensive universities.”
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said “ill-thought-through” government policy meant that the sector was in the grip of “funding uncertainty”. “Our brilliant universities need secure and sustained funding if we are to maintain our proud international position,” she said.
Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education rankings, said: "While top reputations can take many years, even centuries to build, in today’s information-rich and interconnected world, universities cannot sit back and rely on their history. New forces are emerging and signs of declining performance are quickly identified, shared and spread. Established reputations can be highly vulnerable.
“Our data provide clear evidence that in terms of prestige among academics around the world, there is the start of a power shift from the West to the East.”
The ranking can be found on: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/w … kings.html