The latest global university rankings has shown that Britain’s universities have experience a year of “stagnation and modest decline”.
Experts who compiled the Times Higher Education 2019 World University Rankings warned the Government against complacency or risk negatively impacting UK universities in the future.
Oxford leads the table for a third year, with Cambridge second, but many British universities have fallen. Imperial, Edinburgh, the LSE, King’s College London, Manchester and Bristol have all lost ground. Two – the University of Dundee and Royal Holloway – slipped from the top 200. Britain also lost its longstanding position as the second most represented nation after the US, with Japan now having 103 universities in the top 1,250 compared with 98 from the UK.
However, there were a number of successes. UCL moved up two spots to No 14, the University of Warwick was up 12 places and Birmingham up 25.
Among OECD countries, the UK spends the third highest proportion of its GDP on primary to tertiary education, with above-average expenditure for each level of education. The UK also remains attractive to international students. In 2016, the UK took in 14 per cent of all international students from OECD countries, second only to the US.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, Chief Executive Officer of TIGA, said:
“We need to ensure that our universities remain at the forefront of research and innovation, while ensuring that they continue to produce highly skilled graduates.
“Video games developers depend on highly skilled employees to produce ground-breaking new games. We compete on the skills of our workers, which makes it incredibly important that we have access to a stream of highly skilled graduates who can compete internationally.
“With Brexit and economic headwinds, it is the right time to take a step back and look at how we can better support our higher education sector. We need to think carefully about how we ensure that higher education continues to be a UK success story.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings can be accessed here