Cambridge jumped from fourth to second place in the influential World University Rankings – the first time both institutions have held the top two positions.
Collated by Times Higher Education (THE), it is also the first time two European institutions have been placed in the top two spots.
THE said the margins were extremely tight at the top of the table, with all top ranked institutions excelling across 13 performance metrics.
The results will be welcomed by academics and industry leaders across the UK, some of whom have expressed fears over the negative impact Brexit might have on Britain’s highly regarded reputation for research.
But the researchers behind the tables nonetheless warned that the results underlined the risk leaving the European Union (EU) might pose to the UK’s global performance. They also suggested that the full effects of Britain’s separation from the EU are yet to be felt.
Phil Baty, editorial director for the THE Global Rankings, said: “The UK higher education system is facing intense political pressure, with questions over the value for money provided by £9,250 tuition fees in England, our continued attractiveness to international students, the flow of research funding and academic talent post-Brexit, and even levels of vice-chancellors’ pay.”
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