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Queen's University Belfast scales top universities league

By Lindsay Fergus

Queen's University Belfast has continued its climb in the world university rankings, according to a new league table.

The institution has claimed the 193rd spot, which is up four places on last year, in the latest QS World University Rankings.

Queen's is the only university from Northern Ireland - and just one of 37 in the UK - to make it into the 2011 top 300 global universities. It means Queen's has progressed up the league table every year since 2006 when it was just outside the top 200 at 206.

Cambridge has held onto the accolade of best university in the world for the second year.

The elite institution topped the eighth annual list, seeing off competition from leading US institutions including Harvard, which took second place for the first time since the tables began.

Oxford University came fifth - up one place from last year - while Imperial College London came sixth, and University College London took seventh place.

The rest of the top 10 was made up of US institutions with Harvard in second place, Massachusetts Institute of Technology third, Yale University fourth, University of Chicago eighth, University of Pennsylvania ninth and Columbia University in 10th place.

In total, nine UK universities were in the top 50, and 17 overall in the top 100.

Ben Sowter, head of research at QS, said: "This year's rankings show that the worst effects of the funding cuts have yet to be felt by UK universities.

"However, pre-emptive redundancies and increased student intake have led to worse student to faculty ratios relative to their international peers."

Tuition fee information has been published for the first time alongside the 2011 rankings.

Background

The QS World University Rankings is a league table of the top 600 universities in the world and is the most respected ranking list of its kind. It rates universities on a wide range of areas, including research, teaching and graduate employability.

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