The results of the 2015 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, listing the 100 most prestigious universities in the world as judged by academics, have been announced.
Here is how some key figures in UK higher education have reacted to the results, including the news that the UK’s share of the top 100 institutions has increased (it has 12 universities in the top 100 this year, compared with 10 in 2014).
Greg Clark, universities, science and cities minister:
“It’s no coincidence that British universities continue to come out on top of international league tables like this. UK higher education has a long-standing reputation for excellence and more UK and international students than ever before are signing up to benefit from their teachings and world leading facilities. They are a key part of our long-term economic plan and the powerhouses of our world-class research and we commit to supporting UK institutions and researchers in scaling to even greater heights in the decade ahead.”
Vince Cable, business secretary:
“These findings illustrate government efforts to support a world-class higher education system that we can be proud of. Our reforms have helped to ensure British universities are some of the best funded in the world and even more competitive for excellence – second only to the United States.
“However, other nations are hot on our heels, which is why we have taken steps to secure the reputation of our institutions by enabling them to have a sustainable income stream and removing student number controls from the next academic year to increase quality and accessibility.”
Gordon Slaven, the British Council’s head of higher education:
“The growing strength of the UK in these World Reputation Rankings is positive for the whole UK sector. The UK benefits from outstanding heritage in higher education. This provides us with the means to create an outstanding future, through attracting the most talented students and researchers from around the world to the UK, and our institutions playing a key role in international partnerships that tackle global challenges.
“However, reputations can take years to establish and hours to damage, so it’s vital that the UK government, education sector and industry continue to work together to support all of our institutions in creating excellence and demonstrating that to the world.”
Wendy Piatt, director of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities:
“As we approach the election, it’s important that all parties place world-class research, education and innovation at the heart of their plans for the next five years as our universities are the engines of economic growth.
“Other countries recognise that world-class universities are central to their success and reward their best universities with significant investment and the cutting of red tape. By comparison, the UK’s spending on higher education is already far behind that of other European nations, China and the US – our public expenditure of 0.9 per cent of GDP on higher education is on a par with Israel and Mexico. The UK risks losing out on further business and overseas investment unless there is greater investment in our world-class universities and a more risk-based, proportionate approach to regulation.”