Northern Ireland

Queen's University, Belfast, falls in QS World University Rankings

Queen's University, Belfast
Image caption Queen's University, Belfast, has fallen from 170th best ranked university in the world during the last academic year to 182nd place this year

Queen's University, Belfast (QUB) has fallen 12 places in the latest global university rankings.

It fell from 170th best ranked university in the world in 2014/15 to 182nd in the QS World University Rankings for 2015/16.

Ulster University, meanwhile, was ranked in a band from 551-600 in 2015/16, similar to last year.

The QS rankings are one of the most authoritative rankings of universities across the globe.

The ratings are based on a number of factors, including evaluating each university's strengths in research, teaching, academic reputation, staff to student ratio and the number of international staff and students.

However, QS said it has changed its methodology slightly this year to counteract a bias in favour of universities specialising in life sciences and to better reflect the qualities of institutions focusing on other areas.

The other main global ranking table for universities is the Times Higher Education system, which is due next month.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA was rated the world's top university in 2015/16, followed by Harvard in second place, with Stanford and the University of Cambridge in joint third place.

The UK had 30 universities, including Queen's University, in the world's top 200.

In the UK alone, QUB was ranked 29th, while Ulster University was ranked 56th.