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Times Higher Education recognized the University of Oxford as the world's top university of 2016, snatching the top spot away from the California Institute of Technology, which had held the top rank since 2012 when it displaced Harvard University. This is the first year in the history of this ranking that a university from the UK has held the top spot.

The World University Ranking by the Times Higher Education assesses research-intensive universities of different countries around the world across four key missions: research, teaching, spreading new knowledge, and international outlook.

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