28th Oct 2016

UK universities ranked best in EU

  • Students fiddle with "subfusc" - academic dress in Oxford University (Photo: Lawrence OP)

The UK hosts all the "world class" universities in Europe according to a study by QS, a US-based firm which helps business graduates to get jobs.

The world ranking, out on Tuesday (11 September), put Cambridge University at number two, University College London at number four, Oxford University at five and Imperial College London at six in its top 10.

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British universities in total got 26 spots in the top 200.

The next best EU schools were France's Ecole Normale Superieur (34) and Ecole Polytechnique (41). The top institution in Germany, the Tehcnishe Universitat Munchen, placed at 53.

Out of the big EU member states Germany got 11 placings overall, France four, Spain two and Italy just one - Bologna, the oldest university in the world, which ranked 194.

Out of the smaller EU members, the Netherlands (10), Belgium (5) and Sweden (5) did well.

In eastern Europe, only one Russian school got a look-in. Meanwhile, Switzerland nabbed seven places.

The survey - which looks at research and teaching quality, employability and the numbers of foreign students and tutors - was dominated by the US.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology came top and 50 American universities made the leading 200.

China and Hong Kong got 12 spots, prompting QS to remark in its note "there is little sign here of China taking over the world."

India got nothing. But Asian schools in general - especially in Korea, Japan and Singapore - enjoyed "a general rise in ... visibility" in a study which QS says should be used for schools to be "taken seriously around the world."

A competing ranking by Shanghai University in China out in August put the US' Harvard University first.

It gave eight out of the top 10 places to American academies and the other two to Cambridge and Oxford.

The Chinese survey uses different criteria - per capita academic performance, research publications and the number of Fields Medals and Nobel prizes.

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