THE UK’s reputation for world-class universities could be losing ground amid continuing fierce competition from overseas, according to the latest league tables.
A number of Britain’s top institutions have fallen down a new global rankings, with the nation’s key centres of excellence now found in the “golden” triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge, it claims.
The latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2014/15 shows the UK has 29 institutions in the top 200, more than any other country except the United States. But this is two less than last year.
Oxford has dropped one place but is still ranked as the third best university in the world.
Yorkshire’s top three universities have also fallen but remain in the top 150. York is ranked 113th, compared with 100th last year, Sheffield has fallen from 112 to 121st and Leeds is now ranked 146th compared with 139 last year
Three UK institutions have fallen out of the top 200 - Reading University, Dundee and Newcastle, according to the rankings, while St George’s, University of London makes a first appearance, moving into 196th place.
London has four universities in the top 40 - more than any other city in the world, and a total of seven in the top 200 - the same number as France, and more than Japan, China, Sweden and Korea, the rankings say.
While some UK universities have slipped down the rankings, iothers have risen, such as Imperial, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow.
The rankings rate universities on measures including teaching, research and international outlook.
The California Institute of Technology held on to top spot for the fourth year running.
A total of 24 Asian universities are now in the top 200 - up from 20 last year. Two of these - Tokyo University and the National University of Singapore - are in the top 25. Phil Baty, editor of the rankings, said: “East Asia’s top universities continue their strong upward movement in the rankings, on the back of strong government financial support, strong leadership and a strong commitment to excellence in higher education and research.”