Revealed: How does your uni rank for academic excellence?

Barely any of us made the world top 100

Cambridge is the top UK uni for academic excellence, while Manchester, Edinburgh and Bristol just made it into the world top 100.

Former big guns LSE, Birmingham and Leeds didn’t make the grade, while Durham didn’t even make it into the 200 best unis.

Unsurprisingly Harvard, Stanford and MIT hogged the top three places, with Cambridge coming 5th and Oxford in 10th globally.

Pitting all the world unis against each other, China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University released its annual Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

They worked it out by counting the number of staff and alumni who won Nobel Prizes, the amount of articles published as well as the performance per person at each uni.


The worst institution in the world is Wake Forest, an independent nonprofit uni in North Carolina.

Meanwhile the worst Russell group unis turned out to be Queen’s University Belfast and surprisingly enough York.

Imperial might be the best UK uni for job prospects, but they’re only 23rd in the world.

It’s good news for Warwick, who broke into the world top 100 for the very first time.

But overall just nine of our big guns made the world top 100: Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, Imperial, Manchester, Edinburgh, King’s College London, Bristol and Warwick.

With this in mind, Director General of the Russell Group, Dr Wendy Piatt, said our unis have a big task ahead to compete with the world elite.

She said Britain’s unis “punch well above their weight” considering we spend far less on higher education than our rivals.

Wendy added: “If the UK is to stay at the front of the pack, we must fend-off fierce competition from countries like China, Japan, and Germany.

“The UK simply cannot afford to be complacent while the best universities in our competitor countries are rewarded with significant investment.”