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Oxford University is the world’s top university for a record eighth year: Uganda’s Makerere University at 801

The University of Oxford has once again topped the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as the best university in the world for a record eighth consecutive year. The rankings – announced in Sydney, Australia today – rate 1,904 universities from 108 countries around the world.

Oxford was followed in the THE World Rankings 2024 by Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which placed second and third, respectively.

Oxford’s ranking was welcomed by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Irene Tracey, who said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Oxford has been once again named the top university in the world. Eight years of leading the Times Higher Education world rankings is a testament to the impactful research we conduct that tackles some of the grand challenges facing people and the planet as well as the exceptional standards of teaching we deliver that will continue to inspire generations to come. I am filled with admiration for my colleagues and gratitude for all their efforts that propel this unique institution forwards.”

Phil Baty, THE’s chief global affairs officer, said: “In the World University Ranking’s 20-year history, no university has topped the ranking as consistently as the University of Oxford – the world’s number one for the eighth consecutive annual edition. The achievement is based on true strength-in-depth, across all 18 performance indicators, covering the teaching environment, international outlook and industry-links and Oxford especially shines out when it comes to outstanding, internationally impactful research.

“This year we have analysed the reach and influence of an unprecedented 16.5 million research outputs (with 134 million citations) in a new and richer set of research metrics and gathered the expert views of over 68,000 scholars across the word and all this comprehensive data finds that Oxford excels.

“Oxford first topped the global rankings in 2017 when fewer than 1,000 of the world’s research-intensive universities were evaluated. Today more than 2,000 submitted for assessment and we have seen dramatic progress from East Asian universities, particularly from China. Given this global long-term context, Oxford’s world leadership is even more remarkable.”

This year’s rating considers 18 calibrated performance indicators measuring each university’s performance in five areas: teaching (the learning environment); research environment (volume, income and reputation); research quality (citation impact, research strength, research excellence and research influence); international outlook (staff, students and research); and industry (income and patents). Oxford University excelled in all areas while strongly standing out in research environment and quality, teaching and industry, based on how often a university’s research is cited in patents.

The announcement follows the University also being ranked number 1 in the inaugural European QS rankings. Oxford was followed by ETH Zurich in Switzerland and University of Cambridge in second and third places respectively earlier this month.

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