Times Higher Education have released their Arts and Humanities world university rankings table for 2015/16. The UK has held its ground, with twenty of the top 100 universities. It also controls a quarter of the top twenty, with the University of Oxford in forth, UCL in fifth, the University of Cambridge in sixth, King’s College London in fifteenth , and the University of Edinburgh in sixteenth.
While the USA had the largest share of the table, with thirty-two, this was down from thirty-five last year. Stanford University, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all American, were the top three, ordered respectively. Stanford and Harvard have held the top two spots for three years in a row.
Leiden University, in the Netherlands, was the highest ranked non Anglo-American university, sitting at number seventeen. It was followed by the Free University of Berlin, ranked eighteenth. This was the first time the University had been ranked in the top twenty, and matches a remarkable improvement by Germany, who had eleven universities in the table, five more than last year and the third largest share.
Chris Wickham, head of Oxford’s humanities division, cited the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), which launched in May 2013, as one reason for its success in this area. He told Times Higher Education:
“TORCH is already a focus for cutting-edge research in interdisciplinary areas, and runs enthusiastically attended events, bringing together researchers from graduates to senior staff, in every one of our subject areas,” he said. “We will build on this in the future, for example in the area of digital humanities.”