Under pressure from
increased competition from Asian universities, as well as a perennially good
showing from its US competitors, European universities have demonstrated a
hardy ability to hold their own in 2008, according to the world’s definitive
survey of educational institutions. The Times Higher Education-QS World
University Rankings, available from October 9th 2008, show that 36 of Europe’s
top universities, up from 35 in 2007, feature in the top 100, while there are
14, up from 12, in the top 50.


Despite fluctuating
exchange rates, including competing against a weak dollar, Europe’s
universities have benefitted from demonstrating closer ties to each other, as
the Bologna Accord draws nearer. Additionally, the recruiters and academics who
form a large and essential part of the rankings, gave Europe’s universities
high marks in the reputational aspects of the rankings.


Switzerland in
particular, on the back of a strong showing by its technical universities, has
brought about an international upswing in the reputation of technical education
establishments – have performed well. Greece, with its first representative in
the top 200, and Ireland, with two, have also seen a marked improvement in the


The rankings feature
the opinions of over 6,000 academics and employers worldwide, making them the
definitive international university rankings.


Times Higher
Education has published the rankings in a special supplement on Thursday, 9th
October. The list of the world’s top 200 universities is available on the QS
website, www.topuniversities.com,
from 00:01 GMT on Friday, 10th October.


According to Ann
Mroz, editor of THE, says: “These rankings use an unprecedented amount of data
to deliver the most accurate measure available of the world’s best
universities, and of the strength of different nations’ university systems.
They are important for governments worldwide wanting to gauge the progress of
their education systems, and are used in planning by universities across the


Nunzio Quacquarelli,
founder and Managing Director of QS, says: “In just five years, the THE-QS
World University Rankings have become the primary benchmark for comparing
universities across borders – recognised for their accuracy and insight.  The rankings allow prospective students,
parents, academics, journalists and editors to gain an insight into
international university education, helping them to make the right choices,
whether it is in selecting a university for study or for partnership.”