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Heriot-Watt ‘Scotland’s top young university’

The statue of JamesWatt at the entrance to Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh campus. Picture: TSPL

The statue of JamesWatt at the entrance to Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh campus. Picture: TSPL

EDINBURGH’S Heriot-Watt University is one of three Scottish institutions named in a new list of the world’s top 100 universities under 50 years old.

Heriot-Watt is named in 52nd place in the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking of the best universities founded in the last five decades. The university has risen 11 places in the rankings since last year.

The University of Stirling, which came in 56th place, and the University of Strathclyde, which ranked 78th, also feature in the list.

Overall the UK has 14 institutions among the top 100, putting it in joint-first place alongside Australia. The UK previously topped the rankings outright, with declining representation on the list down to a concentration of “plate glass” universities established in the early 1960s, according to the THE.

York University, seventh last year, is no longer eligible for the league rankings, nor is the University of East Anglia, which was in 16th place.

The league table showed the US was the second best represented country in the top 100, with eight institutions.

The best represented Asian nation in terms of numbers was Taiwan, with four representatives, down from five.

Hong Kong still has three institutions on the list, all in the top 30, despite losing an institution because of age.

Warning signs

Phil Baty, THE rankings editor, said: “The UK shares the accolade of being the best-represented nation in the 100 Under 50, with 14 institutions.

“Given that the country is globally renowned for its venerable universities - both the ancient Oxbridge elite and the Victorian red bricks - this demonstrates the strength in depth of the UK system, showing that the 1960s generation are thriving on the world stage, often exceeding the performance of their elders - but not betters.

“But there are warning signs.

“All but two of the UK’s representatives in the list were founded in the 1960s while the ranking is dominated by much younger and higher-placed institutions from strengthening economies that have focused resources on building world-class universities.

“Competition is only going to intensify as more nations and institutions join the race - the UK must work hard not to be left behind.”

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