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Oxford is the Best University in the World According to New Ranking

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The results are in, and the world’s elite higher education institutions have a new champion. The University of Oxford is the best university in the world, according to the results of the 2016-2017 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

It is the first time that a university from outside the United States has topped the table. It leapfrogs last year’s number one, the California Institute of Technology, and becomes the first new number one in six years. CalTech is number two. Before we look at what this means, here’s the top 10.

Remarkably, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, Louise Richardson, describes the practice of securing the number one spot as “really quite simple”. It’s all about recruiting the best scholars, she says, since “any university is only as good as the academics it can attract”.

And she's right – at least in part. Research performance and academic reputation form a huge part of what makes an institution successful.

But the Times Higher Education rankings are the most comprehensive global rankings going, drawing on 13 separate performance indicators and assessing institutions on their core missions – not only research, but also teaching, knowledge transfer and international outlook.