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Growing esteem for LSE as the School rises in world reputation rankings

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has jumped eight places in the second annual rankings of global universities based on their reputation among senior academics, ranking 29th in the world and fifth in the UK.

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings are based on a poll of over 17,500 academics worldwide. Participants are questioned at the level of their specific subject discipline and are asked to name just a handful of those that they believe to be the best, based on their own experience.

The US dominates the top of the rankings with Harvard University ranked first, followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in second place, Stanford fourth and the University of California Berkeley fifth. The University of Cambridge is the only UK institution in the top five, placing third.

LSE is only one of five UK institutions to place in the top 30, after Cambridge, the University of Oxford in sixth place, Imperial College London in 13th, and University College London (UCL) at 21. The School placed 37th in last year's table.

This year's rankings show a drop for several UK universities, including Imperial, UCL, the University of Edinburgh and Bristol. LSE appears to be bucking the trend with a rise of eight places. This comes despite the School having had a particularly turbulent year over its links to Libya.

Robin Hoggard, director of external relations at LSE, says: 'We are gratified to see the LSE is now in the top 30, but we would not claim to be able to explain it. We do a lot that we think pays dividends in [terms of] reputation. A first principle is that academic excellence in research and teaching is key. No amount of gloss or PR puffery can change that and we don't try - so we see our success in the 2008 research assessment exercise as fundamental to our reputation, and the research excellence framework in 2014 will be equally so.

'Beyond that, we do try - hard - to help our academics reach wider audiences in governments, businesses, international organisations, charities and so on. We hope that the enduring value of our research, teaching and engagement will remain apparent'.

LSE's ranking in this table is considerably higher than in the annual Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which placed LSE 47th in the world for 2011-12.