Times Higher Education (THE) have released their 2018 global university rankings. The 54th spot on the table is shared by the University of Manchester and the University of California, Davis.
Manchester ranked 56th in 2016, and 55th in 2017. The university’s improvement in THE’s rankings is accompanied by overall improvement in performance by UK institutions. For the first time in the 14-year history of the table, both of its top two universities are from the UK — the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, respectively. 23 of the 24 Russell Group universities feature in THE’s global top 200.
Queen’s University, Belfast is the only Russell Group university to not appear in the list of the world’s top 200 universities.
The University of Manchester is the seventh best ranked university in England. It is also the second highest scoring English university based outside of London, after the University of Cambridge. In the University’s strongest department, Business and Economics, it ranks 22nd globally.
Uncertainty after the Brexit Referendum resulted in a drop in UK universities’ rankings in the QS 2017 survey. THE’s new table indicates that confidence in UK universities is stable again.
THE’s global rankings assess more than 1000 institutions worldwide, using 13 indicators intended to determine the universities’ international reputation. The size of the international student body, international research partnerships, and international research citations are all used as indicators.
The University of Manchester’s main area in need of improvement is their student to staff ratio. At 14.6, the University’s ratio is high compared to other Russell Group universities. The ratio at the University of Cambridge is 10.9. At University College London it is 10.5.
The potential loss of EU research funding after Brexit threatens UK universities’ performance in future global rankings, including the University of Manchester.
The UK government has made one of their core Brexit objectives to, “seek agreement to continue to collaborate with European partners on major science, research, and technology initiatives.” The Department for Exiting the European Union published a paper last week declaring intentions to form stronger research ties to the EU post-Brexit than the EU has ever had with a non-EU country. If these negotiations fail, research quality at UK universities is expected to decline.