UK universities stronger in arts than sciences, rankings suggest

The Guardian reports that UK universities top the world rankings in 10 different subject areas, but engineering and technology subjects are falling behind the arts and humanities, according to a prestigious world university league table.

The 2018 QS world university rankings, published on 28 February, show that the UK is home to the world’s leading universities in 10 subjects – two more than last year. UK universities make up a third of the world’s top three positions, but these are concentrated in the arts and humanities.

The rankings come as the prime minister, Theresa May, pushes ahead with funding reforms that may see universities cut their fees for social science and humanities courses based on their lower costs of delivery, leaving science and technology courses more expensive.

Seven UK universities lead the world rankings in 10 areas, with the University of Oxford top of the list for four subjects: anatomy and physiology, archaeology, English language and literature and geography. This makes it one of just three universities to perform best in more than one subject, alongside Harvard University, which comes first in 14 subjects, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which comes first in 12 subjects.

The University of Cambridge is ranked as best in the world for anthropology, after failing to land a top spot for any subjects last year. The Royal College of Art is the world leader for art and design, with UCL Institute of Education ranked first for education.

The University of Sussex is ranked first in the world for development studies, again beating Harvard University, while Loughborough University is the world leader in sports-related subjects and the University of Sheffield leads in library and information management.

Read more UK universities stronger in arts than sciences, rankings suggest

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