Although Steve Smith, the president of Universities UK, may be right that "countries such as China will continue to invest heavily in their higher education systems" ("UK boosts standing but Asian countries 'snap at our heels'?", 8 October), a few quick sums on the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings 2009 suggest that we're doing brilliantly.
In the top ten, 3.4 per cent of the UK's universities are represented and only 0.2 per cent of US institutions (and nobody else). The top 200 features 19.1 per cent of Australia's universities, 0.6 per cent of China's, 25 per cent of the UK's and 2.1 per cent of the US'. Australia may be the real international threat.
John Fothergill, University of Leicester.