The publication of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings has become one of the key annual events in the international higher education calendar. Since their first appearance in 2004, these global university league tables have been recognised as the world's most authoritative source of broad comparative performance information on universities.
They are now regularly used by undergraduate and postgraduate students to help select degree courses, by academics to inform career decisions, by research teams to identify new collaborative partners, and by university managers to benchmark their performance and set strategic priorities. Moreover, as nations across the globe focus on the establishment of world-class universities as essential elements of a dynamic economy, our rankings are increasingly employed as a tool for governments to set national policy.
Below, Times Higher Education offers unparalleled analysis of our world rankings results and contextualises those results in light of the rapidly globalising higher education sector.
Great responsibility: This is no beauty parade, it is serious evaluation that echoes in common rooms and the corridors of power Phil Baty
Power is where power goes: Phil Baty analyses world's top 200
They might be giants...or were: Phil Baty examines the 200-400 "best of the rest" list
Elite at the crossroads as aspirants plot fresh course: Dirk Van Damme deciphers the dynamic trends in the global higher education code
Keep on moving: There is no room for complacency, says David Willetts, the UK's universities and science minister
Competitive edge: Rivalry is vital for the development of world-class institutions, explains Bernd Huber
Consolidated gains: Ed Byrne recommends international collaboration between institutions to achieve excellence
Virtually it's our best shot: E-learning offers a way forward for the Western academy, argues John Hennessy of Stanford University
Start local, go global and fight the nation's corner: Building research-intensive universities in developing countries is vital argues Max Price
So young to have travelled so far: Mixing substantial investments in research with top academics and strategic international collaborations is a healthy recipe that has helped a Singaporean institution grow quickly, says Bertil Andersson
Strike while the iron's still hot: The academy remains Western-dominated, but emerging markets are rising says Karan Khemka
Name is the game: The reputation of a university is the most important factor for the majority of prospective international students, says Phil Baty
Two heads, one vision: Stephen Crookbain and Virginia Bottomley consider the pros and cons