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Oxford was today declared the world’s number one university for the third successive year in the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

A view of Oxford colleges and spires

Oxford, the only UK University ever to top the international rankings, sustains its position through the outstanding quality of its research, teaching and innovation.

The new league table for 2019 was unveiled at the World Academic Summit in Singapore this afternoon, with Oxford first among the 1258 universities assessed worldwide, including 98 from the United Kingdom.

The Times Higher rankings are described as the only international league table which assesses universities for all their activities, considering teaching, research, citations, industry collaboration and international outlook. Oxford was highly rated on all factors, reflecting its all-round strength at the forefront of the full range of academic disciplines, spanning medical sciences, science and engineering, humanities and social sciences.

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: “We’re deeply gratified by this result but also delighted to see how strongly British and other European universities have performed. As we in the UK face the great unknown that is Brexit we look forward to ever deeper cooperation with colleagues abroad. It has never been more important that we engage internationally in furtherance of the themes of this year’s World Academic Summit in Singapore – advancing knowledge, driving the economy, and recognising the transformative power of academic research.”

Oxford’s rankings success caps another highly successful twelve months for the University. The University recently opened the £50m Beecroft Building, a high-specification facility which will enable some 200 of the world’s leading scientists to conduct cutting-edge theoretical and experimental research into the most fundamental questions in physics.

The rankings take into account the strength of the University’s links with industry. Recent weeks have seen the launch of an innovative diabetes research centre in collaboration with the Danish pharmaceutical multinational Novo Nordisk – part of an investment expected to reach £115 million over ten years.

Spin-out companies built upon cutting-edge University research raised £506m in external funding in the year to June. A steady stream of new company launches have drawn on technology developed at Oxford, including mass spectrometers, quantum-era sensors and 3D-printed honeycomb helmet technology.

Oxford scored highly in the Times Higher rankings for the quality of its teaching. In May, the University announced a 50% expansion of its highly successful UNIQ summer school. Each year, this will give an extra 500 pupils from under-privileged backgrounds the chance of securing an Oxford undergraduate place, with its highly-specialised individual tuition provided through the college system.

Oxford has sustained its leading position through investment and renewal.  Last December, the University made a confident commitment to its future through a bond issue raising £750m for major new physical and virtual infrastructure development. Oxford will invest the proceeds of the bond in strategic capital projects to enhance the outstanding capabilities in teaching, research and innovation which have taken it to the top of the world rankings.

Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education commented: “Oxford has once again been confirmed as the world’s number one university – the third consecutive year in the top position. You cannot lead the T.H.E World University Rankings without an outstanding performance right across our full range of performance indicators, covering teaching excellence, research power and impact, industry relations and international outlook. Oxford stands out across the board, but what sets it apart from the top-ranked schools below it, primarily from the US, is its exceptionally international focus. Oxford thrives, not just due to strong levels of research funding, and a remarkably intimate teaching environment, but primarily due to the talent on its campus – and there’s no doubt Oxford is a magnet for talent globally, attracting the brightest and the best students and faculty from all over the world.”

The full Times Higher Education World University Rankings can be found at: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/world-university-rankings-2019-results-announced

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