Higher education institutions in the United Kingdom have tumbled in Times Higher Education or THE’s just-published Global University Employability Ranking, while Asian universities – specifically in mainland China, Taiwan and South Korea – have made significant strides in respectability.

Brexit is harming the UK’s education sector

Every UK university dropped positions in THE’s seventh annual employability ranking raising concerns that withdrawal from the European Union is affecting Britain’s global reputation. The UK has 10 institutions featured in the top 150 list published by the ranking and only the University of Cambridge is in the top 10, claiming fifth (2016 ranking: fourth) position globally.

Cambridge and the University of Oxford, in position 15 – a steep drop from seventh last year – and Imperial College London in 17th position, down one place since 2016, constitute the country’s top three higher education institutions.

The US is still leading higher education

Globally, United States institutions claimed seven of the top 10 places with the California Institute of Technology retaining its leading position, followed by Harvard University (third in 2016), Columbia University – which shot up from 12th place – and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in fourth position (second in 2016).

After Cambridge in fifth come Boston University (up from 11th in 2016), Stanford University (down from fifth), Technical University of Munich in Germany, which held steady at number eight, the University of Tokyo (one up from 10th) and Yale University (down from sixth).

Noteworthy top 30 changes in the old guard, other than Oxford’s eight-position slide to 15, were the Paris-based Ecole Polytechnique gaining 21 positions to number 22, the Indian Institute of Science moving up nine positions to 29, and China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University gaining 23 positions to claim the last spot in the top 30.

France and Germany are out of the game

By country, America has 10 universities in the top 30 followed by the UK with four and France with three. Countries with two universities each are Canada, China and Japan, and with one each are Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Spain and Switzerland.

There are 33 countries in the top 150 list, with America featuring 35 universities followed by France with 12, Germany with 11 and Britain with 10. Thereafter come China and Switzerland with seven institutions each; Canada with six; Australia, Japan and the Netherlands with five; and Hong Kong, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan with four.

India, Israel and Spain each have three universities in the top 150; Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Singapore each have two universities; and with one university each are Austria, Brazil, Finland, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.