Cambridge Steals Top-University Title from Harvard

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Look out, American colleges — the Brits are on your tail.

Today, QS World University Rankings crowned Britain’s University of Cambridge with first-class honors, snatching the accolade held by Harvard since the list was first published in 2004. Yale retained its third-place position, University College London held on to fourth and MIT takes fifth place, up from ninth last year.  Other U.K. and U.S. universities making the grade are Oxford, Imperial, University of Chicago and Princeton.

The British educational invasion is no surprise, according to John O’Leary, executive member of the table’s advisory board. “UK universities have had an exceptionally good year,” he said. “Not only does Cambridge top the ranking for the first time, but there are more U.K. institutions than ever before in the top 100 and 200.”

American institutions continue to dominate the list, however, taking 31 out of the top 100 places. John O’ Leary added, “Cambridge has gone top because it has improved its citations. Harvard has taken more students and had a hiring freeze amongst its academics. That’s the reason these two have swapped around.”

Although this victory gives Brits a reputation boost, keeping the title from their American rivals may prove an Ivy League challenge. (via Guardian)

-Claire McCormack