Glasgow rises in world league table

Amy MacGregor

The University of Glasgow has been ranked 73rd in the world by a comprehensive university league table.

The climb of ten places in the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings bucked the general trend of decline of other UK universities.
The THE-QS rankings elevate Glasgow to 11th in the UK and within the top one percent of higher education institutions worldwide.

The University of Glasgow’s Principal, Sir Muir Russell, has expressed his pride over this recent achievement.

He said: “The THE-QS World Ranking reflects the University of Glasgow’s place in global higher education. Over the past several years the University of Glasgow has been through a period of substantial change which has allowed us to compete nationally and internationally, and to be counted in the top 100 is testament to the hard work of all our staff.”

Speaking to Guardian, a spokesperson for the Scottish Government’s Office of Education and Lifelong Learning revealed that she felt that this recognition was well deserved.

She said: “This is further evidence that Scottish universities are among the best in the world and it is quite right that they should be featured so prominently in the World University Rankings published by the Times Higher last week. Our universities are at the heart of our drive to build a smarter, more prosperous Scotland.”

Despite this, not all Scottish universities could join Glasgow in its success. St. Andrews fell from 76 in 2007 to 83 and Aberdeen dropped 16 places to 153. Similar blows were felt in England, notably with the Oxbridge institutions being beaten to the top spots by American rivals Harvard and Yale.

This has led to further disquiet over the funding of higher education within the UK. There is concern that the quality of research and teaching delivered by UK universities could be hindered by the amount of funding in comparison to overseas institutions.

In response to the THE-QS rankings, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, forecast that, without improved funding, UK universities are in danger of losing out to international counterparts.

She said: “We are very concerned about our ability to sustain this level of success in the face of fierce global competition. Without increased investment there is a real danger that the UK’s success will not be sustained.”

Speaking to Guardian, a spokesperson for the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning asserted that they were dedicated to preserving the high standards of Scottish universities and that their budget reflected this.
She said: “In total, through our budget, this Government invested £5.24 billion over three years in the further and higher education sectors in Scotland. This represents a cash increase of almost 11 per cent.”


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