December 5, 2023

Oxford tops the Times World University Rankings 2024. Who last made it?

This article was originally published on English

The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2024 have been released, and it is not the West but China that is making the biggest impression.


The University of Oxford topped the rankings of the best universities in the world for the eighth year in a row. This is according to what was recently published Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2024.

Other universities from the Anglo-Saxon region dominate the top ten: Harvard (USA, 4) and Cambridge (UK, 5) remain at the top of the rankings.

However, the top five has changed slightly: Stanford University (USA) moved from joint third place in 2023 to second place in this year’s rankings, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA) rose from joint third place in 2023 2023 to third place.

This has happened largely at the expense of Harvard, which fell two places from second place in 2023, and Cambridge, which fell from third to fifth place.

Overall, the fortunes of US and UK universities have deteriorated significantly this year. While European universities continue to decline, Asia’s star continues to rise, especially for higher education centers in China.

Tsinghua (12) and Beijing (14) universities rose in the rankings, surpassing universities such as the famous American universities University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbia University.

Continuing a trend of growing academic influence in Asia, the University of Tokyo has now overtaken the University of Edinburgh, King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science, rising 10 places to 29th.

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An analysis of six years of data by THE shows that the average ranking of US universities fell from 296 in the 2019 rankings to 348 in the latest edition; The average UK rating also fell, but to a lesser extent, from 451 to 477.

Which European universities are the best in the world?

According to the overall results of THE 2024 rankings, European universities are still well represented in the top 50.

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) recorded the biggest change in one year, jumping from 41st to 33rd. The London School of Economics (LSE) saw the biggest drop, falling from 37th to 46th – a further drop from 2022 , when it was ranked 27th on the list.

Overall, most European universities in the top 50 have remained stable, either maintaining the same position or seeing a slight decline.

Non-climbers include ETH Zurich (11th), Technical University of Munich (jointly 30th and still their best position in the rankings since 2011) and University College London (22nd).

In terms of the quality of research – defined by THE as “citation impact, research strength, research excellence and research impact” – undertaken at each institution, European universities performed much better, with four places in the top ten.

This also applies to Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, which came in 10th place overall among the world’s best research universities.

The best European participation was Oxford (5) with 99 points, followed by Imperial College London (8) and UCL (9) with 98.6 points each.

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Other important results

While universities in the US and UK continue to dominate, China is slowly climbing the THE rankings, and Chinese institutions are closer than ever to breaking into the top ten.

There are currently 13 Chinese universities in the top 200, seven more than in 2020. The best performers this year are Tsinghua University and Peking University, which are ranked 12th and 14th, respectively.


The rise of Chinese institutions is reflected in the decline of American and British universities, whose numbers among the top 200 universities decreased by three and four universities, respectively.

This decline shows that the UK and the US are “losing their relative power” despite their superiority over their Chinese rivals Ming QingA professor of higher education at the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University in England told THE.

“Perhaps universities in these two countries should consider learning from China’s good practices and appreciating other cultures and ideas more,” she added.

“This trend also indicates that the power of the knowledge economy is shifting from the West to the East. This may encourage more international students to study in China in the future.”