The California Institute of Technology has retained the top spot in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the second year in a row. Oxford and Stanford tied for second place, pushing ahead of Harvard University, which came next on the list.
American universities continue to dominate the list, which is one of the most closely scrutinized in the increasingly crowded field of university rankings. But although American universities hold 76 of the top 200 spots, 51 of them have dropped in the rankings, reflecting what the list’s editor, Phil Baty, said in a statement was a sign of “the start of the decline of a world-leading university sector” due to cuts in public financing for universities.
The faltering lead of the United States comes as a growing number of institutions from the Asia-Pacific region have improved their performance, the result of a vast investment in higher education by many countries there.