Durham University has come 24th in The Times Higher Education European University Rankings for 2016. Released on March 10, the rankings assess universities using five indicators, with ‘teaching’, ‘research’ and ‘citation’ weighted most heavily. Durham, the 10th highest-ranking UK university on the list, scored especially high for its ‘international outlook’ and ‘citations’ which received 86.4 and 87.7 points out of 100 respectively. Amongst the 46 listed universities from the United Kingdom, Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London took the top three places.
However, Times Higher Education has cautioned against reading too much into the rankings, issuing a disclaimer that ‘because of changes in the underlying data, we strongly advise against direct comparisons with previous years’ World University Rankings.’ Notably, the rankings also use more objective, factual indicators than the rival Guardian University League Tables, in which Durham scored 6th rather than 10th among UK universities on the basis of factors including ‘satisfaction with teaching’ and ‘satisfaction with course’. As ever, these rankings provide a necessarily limited perspective, which moreover ignores variations between subject departments and, more significantly, variations in educational practice across Europe.