U.K.’s Oxford tops world ranking of best universities; U.S. has 3 of top 5

LONDON, Sept. 21 (UPI) — Britain’s University of Oxford is the new king of higher education, according to a new world ranking.

The annual list of the world’s best universities by Times Higher Education was revealed Wednesday. When it was unveiled, the California Institute of Technology — ranked No. 1 on the list for five consecutive years — had been dethroned by the British institution.

“This year’s list of the best universities in the world is led by a U.K. university for the first time in the 12-year history of the [list],” Times Higher Education stated on its website. “It is the first time a U.S. institution does not take the top spot.”

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The Los Angeles area school, commonly called CalTech, fell to No. 2.

Times Higher Education ranked the top 980 universities in the world based on various criteria. The United States led the list with 148 schools included in the field. The United Kingdom had 91.

“The top universities rankings use 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available,” the publication said.”[The list] is the only global university performance table to judge world class universities across all of their core missions — teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.”

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Although the United States relinquished the top spot on the 2016-17 list, it boasts three of the ranking’s top five universities — CalTech, Stanford University at No. 3 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at No. 5. Britain’s University of Cambridge was ranked fourth.

Further, U.S. schools account for 10 of the top 15, and include Harvard (6), Princeton (7), California-Berkeley and University of Chicago (tied at 10), Yale (12), Penn (13) and UCLA (14).

Oxford received an overall score of 95 to CalTech’s 94.3. All top five universities, though, were graded within just 1.6 points of each other.

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