World’s top 10 universities led by women

Published on 19th June in the Times Higher, Ellie Bothwell highlights that – ‘Just 14 per cent of the top 200 universities in the world are led by women.  It is a damning statistic and one that proves – if you needed any more evidence alongside the oft-reported gender pay gap and the dearth of women in senior positions – that gender inequality is still rife in the academy. However, there are examples of top universities that are leading the way when it comes to promoting women to the upper echelons of their institution.

This list is based on research conducted by Miguel Antonio Lim, EU Marie Curie doctoral fellow at Aarhus University in Copenhagen, who used data from the 2014-15 World University Rankings’









To see the full list see – World’s top 10 universities led by women

Just picking institutions in the UK, number 8 is – University of Manchester:

  • Vice-chancellor: Nancy Rothwell
  • Appointed: 2010
  • Current world rank: =52
  • Dame Nancy Rothwell became the first woman to lead the University of Manchester in 2010.  Professor Rothwell is one of just two female leaders in the top 200 of the world rankings who is an academic in medical science, while the University of Manchester is one of only four UK universities on the list that has a female leader.

    Speaking to THE, Professor Rothwell said the reason why there are fewer female leaders is “most likely a combination of factors: huge time commitment, few role models, lack of confidence”. She added: “I have certainly never felt discriminated against but also never planned on being a vice-chancellor.”

Nancy Rothwell

Nancy Rothwell










Number 2 is Imperial College London:

  • President: Alice Gast
  • Appointed: 2014
  • Current world rank: =9
  • Alice Gast is the first female president at Imperial College London and its 16th leader overall.  The university has won several awards for promoting women in fields where they are currently underrepresented, including medicine and aeronautics.  It also gives its own prizes and mentorship to female students excelling in subjects that are typically male-dominated , and has a fellowship award scheme for academics returning from maternity and adoption leave.
Alice Gast

Alice Gast

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