The University of Oxford has been named the best university in the world by Times Higher Education for the fifth consecutive year, the first institution to do so under the current ranking system.
Oxford is followed by Stanford in 2nd place and Harvard in 3rd. The THE takes multiple factors into account and has assessed Oxford’s female:male ratio (46:54) as well as satisfaction with the quality of teaching (91.3%) and research (99.6%).
Oxford achieved an overall score of 95.6 and Stanford followed with a score of 94.9.
Oxford has improved its score by 0.2 points since 2020 and has maintained its position at the top of the list since 2017. All of Oxford’s scores have either improved or maintained a steady position, apart from “Citations” which has fallen from 98.4 to 98.0 in the past year. “Citations” describes the overall impact of universities’ research.
The University of Cambridge fell to 6th place in the rankings with a score of 94.0. Imperial College London and UCL followed in 11th and 16th place respectively.
According to the THE website, the rankings are based on academic factors and does not take student satisfaction or university diversity into account:
“The table is based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
“This year’s ranking analysed more than 80 million citations across over 13 million research publications and included survey responses from 22,000 scholars globally.”
The THE World University Rankings is recognised as the largest and most diverse university ranking. THE has stated that the 2021 rankings include over 1500 institutions from across 93 countries.