Oxford University’s enduring global reputation, cutting edge research and unique teaching environment have helped the University retain first place in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for a fifth year in a row.
The announcement was made on Wednesday 2 September as this year’s international rankings were unveiled at the THE’s World Academic Summit.
The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Louise Richardson, said: ‘We are delighted to have consolidated our position at the top of the THE World University Rankings this year.
‘The international standing of British Higher Education is a testament to generations of investment in education as well as to our extraordinarily talented staff and students.
‘The COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed such a threat to higher education around the world, has also demonstrated the critical role universities play in addressing global challenges.’
Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer at the Times Higher Education, said the result was testament to Oxford excelling across all indicators assessed by the rankings. He added that the University’s international outlook had been a particular point of excellence.
He explained: ‘The Times Higher Education World University Rankings deploy a comprehensive and balanced range of 13 separate performance indicators to cover world-class research universities’ core missions, across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
‘Under the current decade-old methodology, no university has ever topped the THE World University Rankings for five consecutive annual editions.
‘So this year’s rankings results are a testament not only to Oxford’s enduring reputation among leading scholars globally, but also to its ability to continually innovate, publishing cutting edge research with the highest global impact across a wide range of disciplines and providing a uniquely stimulating teaching environment.
‘Oxford excels across all of our indicators, but its international outlook scores in particular stand out against world top-ten peers in the US. That commitment to international collaboration and partnership, should be cherished and protected.’
The award follows a year when the University of Oxford has been at the centre of international attention for its work on finding a vaccine for COVID-19 as well as taking a leading role in trialling therapeutic drugs and antibody testing. The University has also been working on a wide range of projects including the development of mental health interventions for NHS staff experiencing trauma, research into the impacts of the crisis on parents and practical resources for families, novel virus detection methods, as well as analysis of the actions taken by governments across the world as they respond to the pandemic.
In June this year the University also announced a landmark £80 million gift from the Reuben Foundation – one of the largest in its history – to support Oxford’s newest graduate college. The new college in the heart of the University’s science area will focus on interdisciplinary research addressing future global challenges. The gift will also fund a major new graduate scholarship programme. The college – the University’s 39th and its first for 30 years – will be named Reuben College in recognition of the historic gift, and is due to welcome its first students in the autumn of 2021.