The University of Oxford ranks Number 1 in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

Oxford becomes the first British university ever to occupy top position in the global table, which judges the performance of 980 universities across 79 countries.

Only two other institutions have headed the rankings since their inauguration thirteen years ago – California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Harvard University.

This wonderful news recognises the extraordinary talent and dedication of all who work and study at Oxford. We are delighted with this affirmation of our global success and will be working hard to maintain our position.

Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson

Times Higher Education describes the World University Rankings as the only international league table to assess universities across all activities, analysing their teaching, research, citations, industry collaboration and international outlook.

Oxford’s top ranking reflects its all-round strength in contemporary research and teaching. Renowned as the oldest University in the English speaking world, modern Oxford is at the forefront of the full range of academic disciplines, including medical sciences, science and engineering, humanities and social sciences. Knowledge transfer and the development of new technologies are among its key priorities. University researchers have launched more than 70 companies since 2005 – more than any other university in the country, establishing the Oxford region as one of the most innovative in the UK.

The University’s collegiate system lies at the heart of its success, giving students and academics the benefit of belonging both to a large, internationally renowned institution and to an intimate, interdisciplinary academic community.

The global status of Oxford’s academics has been confirmed by several other recent international awards. Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe, of the University’s pre-eminent Medical Sciences Division, is to receive the prestigious Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, for his pioneering work understanding the mechanisms by which cells sense and signal hypoxia (low oxygen levels). The Mathematical Institute’s Professor Sir Andrew Wiles won the 2016 Abel Prize, regarded as mathematics' equivalent of the Nobel Prize, for his stunning proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.

The rankings success also follows significant recent progress in the University’s drive to become ever-more accessible to the most talented students, regardless of background. Oxford confirmed that this year it expects to admit its highest proportion of state school pupils for more than 40 years. The achievement is built on the £6m-plus the University invests in its outreach projects every year, with 3,000 activities annually involving 3,400 schools.

THE World University Rankings Editor Phil Baty noted that this year’s rankings had been audited independently by PricewaterhouseCoopers. For the full methodology please click