The University retains top spot for an impressive sixth consecutive year, beating the California Institute of Technology and Harvard into joint second place. The University of Cambridge came in at No 5 with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In a year dominated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the rankings reflect the key role of universities in understanding and managing the crisis as a number of institutions around the world saw significant boosts in their citation scores (a measure of a university’s research influence and impact in spreading new knowledge and ideas) from Covid-19 focused research.
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: “My colleagues and I are absolutely delighted to have achieved the top ranking again. There are many great universities around the world and we are proud to be in their company.
“This past year has demonstrated to our publics, our governments, and even to ourselves just how much universities can contribute to society. The vaccine Oxford developed is being distributed in over 170 countries and over a billion doses have been manufactured. Together our universities have made the strongest possible case for renewed public investment in research universities.”
This year’s rankings – based on a methodology that includes analysis of 14.4 million research publications, a survey of 22,000 academics around the world and data on teaching, research – saw a record 1,662 universities from 99 countries and regions appear in the table.
Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer at THE, said: “The THE World University Rankings 2022 consistently prove that the UK is home to one of the world’s very best higher education systems. But while these rankings contain an element of competition, more importantly they’re about understanding strengths and weaknesses in an international context. Although the UK has seen some good results this year, Covid-19 has provided new challenges to add to those related to the impact of Brexit.
“These challenges mean the UK must work hard to attract international students and academic talent to contribute to its knowledge economy in both the short and long-term. With mainland China and Germany rising, this will be essential for the UK to retain its position as a higher education superpower.’