Five Scottish universities in the Times Higher world top 200 but universities face brutally competitive international environment

Responding to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-12 table published today, Universities Scotland congratulated the five Scottish universities that appear amongst the top 200 institutions in the world but warned that the results show a brutally competitive international environment for universities.

However, amidst strong and growing international competition Scotland’s universities cannot afford to become complacent. The rest of the UK and the United States have both increased the number of universities to appear in the top 200 since last year. Twenty seven universities from across the rest of the UK appear in the 2011-12 league table as opposed to 24 last year. Similarly, 75 universities in the US appear in this year’s rankings, up from 72 last year.

Universities Scotland’s Director, Alastair Sim said:


“Times Higher world rankings show once again that Scotland’s universities continue to punch above their weight on the global stage. For a country Scotland’s size, this is a remarkable achievement.

“Scotland’s universities cannot afford to be complacent – the global environment for higher education is brutally competitive. Our competitiveness matters as it is this quality that enables us to lever-in over £1.5 billion of income to Scotland through international students and research grants and contracts.

“The protection of our international standing is vital. Scotland’s universities can only continue to compete with the best in the world if we are confident of sustainable investment. The Scottish Government’s spending review settlement for universities as announced recently is vital to this going forward as it puts us on a competitive footing for the future. We strongly welcome that investment in Scotland’s success.”



  • The five Scottish universities to make the top 200 table are: University of Edinburgh (36), University of St Andrews (85), University of Glasgow (102), University of Aberdeen (154) and University of Dundee (176).
  • The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-12 uses a robust set of 13 indicators across five areas taken into account, making this the only world rankings to examine all core missions of a modern global university. Heavy weighting (67.5%) is given to aspects of research, including influence, volume, income, reputation and international standing. Teaching quality is given 30% weighting, and includes consideration of reputation survey, staff to student ratios and levels of qualifications achieved.
  • Times Higher Education with data supplied by Thomson Reuters:
  • The Scottish Government Spending Review 2011 & Draft Budget 2012-13 can be found here:
  • Funding allocations for universities can be found in Chapter 9 in table 9.06 which shows detailed (level 3) spending plans for universities.