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UK universities face ‘irreversible decline’, global league table suggests

British institutions face possible closure as 52 out of 90 are given lower positions this year in Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings

UK universities will have their international reputations dented and face possible closure because of continuing funding pressures, according to an authoritative league table that named Imperial College London as second in the world.Imperial overtook Oxford and Harvard universities and was behind only the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the annual Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) world university rankings.

But the overall table made grim reading for UK institutions, including Cambridge dropping from second down to fifth, as 52 out of the 90 British universities received lower rankings this year.

The rating of only 20, including Imperial, improved, while University College London remained ninth overall.