THE World Reputation Rankings 2015

11 March 2015

Commenting on the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, Russell Group Director General Dr Wendy Piatt, said:

“The UK has some of the best universities in the world, outperforming many larger nations, but this is no time to rest on our laurels. As we approach the election, it’s important that all parties place world-class research, education and innovation at the heart of their plans for the next five years as our universities are the engines of economic growth.

“Other countries recognise that world-class universities are central to their success and reward their best universities with significant investment and the cutting of red tape. By comparison, the UK’s spending on higher education is already far behind that of other European nations, China and the US – our public expenditure of 0.9% of GDP on higher education is on a par with Israel and Mexico. The UK risks losing out on further business and overseas investment unless there is greater investment in our world-class universities and a more risk-based, proportionate approach to regulation.

“League tables shouldn’t be used in isolation to make judgements about the quality of an institution as no one ranking can capture all the strengths of a particular university.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2015 place 11 Russell Group universities in the Top 100, up from 8 last year. The full table is published here.
  2. According to the OECD report Education at a Glance published in September, the UK’s total investment in higher education is 1.2% of GDP: less than half that of the USA, and below the OECD average. UK public investment in higher education is 0.9% of GDP, below the OECD and EU 21 averages, lower than Argentina, Canada and almost all European countries for which data was available. It is on a par with Israel and Mexico. Read more in the full report.
  3. The UK’s spending on research and development as a proportion of GDP fell from 1.77% in 2011 to 1.72% in 2012. This is well below the EU average of 2.06% in 2012 (up from 2.03% in 2011), the spending of 1.95% by China (up from 1.84% in 2011) and the US investment of 2.81% (up from 2.76% in 2011).
  4. Read our policy report Jewels in the crown: The importance and characteristics of the UK’s world-class universities.

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