LSE has jumped 39 places in the ranking of world universities published today by Times Higher Education.
It places LSE 47th in the global league table – a dramatic improvement from its 86th position last year.
The change is partly explained by improvements to the methodology made by the compilers, THE and Thomson Reuters. They have adjusted some of the measures that penalise universities which do not teach and research science subjects.
As a result LSE's research score has markedly improved. LSE scores for reputation and international outlook have also improved.
The table rates California Institute of Technology as the world’s best university, knocking Harvard off its previous top spot. Harvard now shares second spot with Stanford. Oxford, at 4th overall, is the most highly-placed UK institution with Princeton completing the top five.
After Oxford, Cambridge is the next highest-ranked UK university at 6th, followed by Imperial (8th). LSE is the sixth most highly-placed in the country.
Professor Judith Rees, LSE Director, said: “I am very glad to see that LSE is much more highly-ranked this year. I believe our rise reflects not only the strength of our research and reputation but also the fact that this year’s table gives a truer picture of the relative strengths of universities. It makes more allowance for the fact that a small, specialist institution such as LSE, which is not involved in natural sciences or medicine, has been unfairly penalised by a relative bias against the social sciences.
“We will continue to argue for refinements to the methods used in compiling this ranking. Frankly we think LSE still merits a higher placing on the empirical evidence available – but this year’s table goes some way to recognising our world-class qualities.”
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-2012 assessed universities on 13 separate measures across the fields of research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity. It also conducted a reputational survey of 17,500 academics.
The full rankings and more information are available from THE
6 October 2011