UK dominates European university rankings

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The Times Higher Education European University Top 200 Rankings reveals that the UK has 46 institutions in the list – the most of any country in the region.

The University of Oxford is the top ranked institution in Europe, while the University of Cambridge is in second, and Imperial College London takes third place.

Also within the top 10 are University College London (5th), London School of Economics and Political Science (6th), the University of Edinburgh (7th) and King’s College London (8th). Overall, the UK dominates the list, taking nearly a quarter of all places including seven in the top 10 and 17 in the top 50.

Despite the UK’s strong performance, Germany, with 36 institutions in the top 200, is challenging its dominance. LMU Munich is its most highly ranked university in 10th place, while almost a third (11 institutions) are in the top 50.

The UK’s success is reflected in its position in the World University Rankings, where it boasted 78 institutions in the top 800 and 34 in the top 200, making it second only to the US for the number of world-class universities featured in the list.

Also making the top ten of the overall list, the University of Oxford is in second place, followed by the University of Cambridge in fourth and Imperial College London in eighth.

Elsewhere in Europe, Scandinavian countries perform well with Sweden and Finland punching above their weight relative to their population size with six and 11 institutions respectively in the top 200. Sweden’s top ranked institution – Karolinska Institute – is in ninth place. Other strong performers relative to population size include Denmark (6 universities), the Republic of Ireland (6) and Switzerland (9), whose top ranked institution ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich is in fourth place.

The Netherlands performs well with 13 institutions in the ranking while Belgium is solid with seven universities in the top 200. The east and south of Europe however generally score poorly in the ranking. Countries in these regions either perform relatively weakly (Estonia, Greece, Cyprus, and Portugal with only one institution each in the group 171-200), or do not appear at all in the top 200 (Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, and the whole of the former Yugoslavia).

Russia is perhaps the surprise underperformer, with just five institutions in the top 200, making it the lowest-ranked country relative to its population and GDP – although it ranks highly relative to its GDP per capita.

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