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16th Nov 2018
The University of Oxford has been named by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as the top institution worldwide, a first for the UK.
Oxford knocked the California Institute of Technology into second place, which has been the top performer for the past five years, as UK institutions took 91 of the top 980 places worldwide.
The UK is second only to the US for the number of universities featured in the top 800. Within the top 200 the UK has 32 representatives, two less than the previous year.
Despite Oxford reaching the pinnacle of the rankings, the university's vice chancellor Louise Richardson hit out at a lack of funding, tighter government regulations and Brexit as all being potential threats to the future of the institution.
In particular she said: "If our academics cannot secure funding for their research, they will move elsewhere. We frankly, do not have the resources to commensurate with our global position".
The vice chancellor was also concerned over the governments upcoming teaching excellence framework, which aims to monitor and assess the quality of teaching being provided at England's universities. There are worries that it could have a negative impact on Oxford's one-on-one approach to teaching if the policy tried to enforce conformity across the sector.
Elsewhere in the rankings a third of France's 27 universities slipped down the tables, while half of Italy's 39 intuitions have also dropped down the rankings.
Asia, however has seen its institutions continue to rise up the rankings, with four new entries in the top 200, taking its total to 19. China's Peking University joined the top 30, up from 42nd the previous year, while five of Hong Kong's six representatives made the top 200, more than any other Asian region.
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