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Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, outlines strategies adopted by NTU that are boosting social mobility and which helped it win the inaugural Guardian University of the Year award, a gong he believes shows how notions of excellence in HE are changing.
Mike Boxall, who has thirty years' experience as a consultant and commentator on strategic developments in higher and further education, finds evidence in recent news of growing and worrying divisions within UK higher education.
British universities have secured 14 per cent of all top 50 spots available across 36 disciplines in newly published world rankings.
The performance of the 79 UK institutions featured in this year’s QS World University Rankings by Subject secured them overall silver medal position, bettered only by universities in the United States.
Of the 927 placements achieved by UK institutions this year, 16.1 per cent are new entries, 18.3 per cent have improved on their 2014 performance, and 35.9 per cent have maintained the same position. Nevertheless, 29.7 per cent have lost ground – albeit in some instances only minimally.
Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) take the lion’s share of top places, leading in 21 subjects between them. However, UK universities have improved their positions overall, with six separate institutions leading in at least one subject.
John O’Leary member of the QS Global Academic Advisory Board said: “ UK universities show up well in virtually all the subjects - Oxford boasts the best performance as the only university to lead in more than one subject, but specialist providers like the Royal College of Art and University College London's Institute of Education are also shown to be world-leaders.”
The University of Cambridge ranks among the top ten in 31 disciplines while the University of Oxford and Stanford University follow with 29. Harvard makes the top ten in 28 subjects, University of California, Berkeley in 26 and MIT in 19. They are followed by London School of Economics with 11, Princeton and UCLA with ten each, Yale (9) Imperial College (8), UCL (6) Caltech and Columbia University (5).
The expert opinion of 85,062 academics and 41,910 employers informed the results, alongside the analysis of 17.3 million research papers and over 100 million citations.
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