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一起听英语 65 顶尖大学

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Rob: Hello! I’m Rob and this is 6 Minute English. I’m joined today by

Alice. Hi Alice.

Alice: Hi Rob.

Rob: Today, we’re talking about universities around the world, and a new list that

shows the top two hundred. I’m going to start by asking you a question Alice

– which university has come number one in this list?

Alice: There are so many famous universities around the World – let me guess – is it


Rob: Well, Cambridge University, in England, is certainly on the list but you’ll have

to wait until the end of the programme to see if you are right.

Alice: OK.

Rob: This new list is called the London Times Higher Education List. It ranks

universities on a number of factors. These include its quality of teaching, the

influence of its research and the income it gets for research.

6 Minute English © bbclearningenglish.com 2010

Page 2 of 6

Alice: So, if these factors are higher, the university gets a higher ranking.

Rob: That’s right. Of course, funding is very important.

Alice: Funding…that’s money in other words. Is a university more successful if it

gets more funding?

Rob: Well, that is what Professor Steve Smith thinks. He is President of Universities

UK which represents all British universities. He says the US puts two-and-ahalf

times the amount of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) into its universities

than we do in the UK.

Extract 1:

The US puts two-and-a-half times the amount of GDP into its universities than we do

and therefore, surprisingly, they get two-and-a-half times the number of universities in

the top two hundred. I think this is all about the investment that countries put in the

future - all about the investment they put in their universities.

Rob: Professor Steve Smith says it’s all about the investment the country puts into

their universities that makes them successful.

Alice: OK. So he says the US invests more money in universities than the UK so they

have more of them on this list. Can I change my answer now?!

Rob: No Alice. You may still be right. Fourteen British institutions are on the list

including Oxford and Cambridge.

It’s interesting that the institutions which dominate the top of the list are

English speaking ones as BBC reporter Jonny Hogg explains….

6 Minute English © bbclearningenglish.com 2010

Page 3 of 6

Extract 2:

It's English speaking universities, and particularly those in America, that dominate the

top spots in this list. You have to go down to number fifteen to find the first non

Anglophone establishment, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and surprisingly,

France's renowned Ecole Polytechnique only comes in thirty ninth.

Alice: Ah, so American universities dominate the top of the list, but what does he

mean about the first non-Anglophone establishment being at number fifteen?

Rob: Well, Anglophone means English speaking. So the first non-Anglophone

university in the list was?

Alice: The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. But come on Rob, who was

number one?

Rob: Wait and see Alice! Let’s find out about some of the other countries in the list.

Here’s Jonny Hogg again…

Extract 3:

Elsewhere, Asia has done well, with Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and China all

having universities in the top forty. Only two African institutions, one, the university of

Capetown in South Africa, the other, the University of Alexandria in Egypt, make the

top two hundred.

Rob: So Jonny Hogg said universities in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and

China were in the top forty.

6 Minute English © bbclearningenglish.com 2010

Page 4 of 6

Alice: Yes, mainland China has six universities on the list and there are two in


Rob: OK here’s another question – when you choose a university does it really

matter if it has a good ranking?

Alice: Hmmm, the reasons for choosing a university? I suppose its reputation is


Rob: Of course, although the authors of this new list say reputation is not as

important as it used to be. I choose my university because it offered the subject

I wanted to do.

Alice: Really? I chose mine because it was close to home and it had a lively social


Rob: A good reason! Let’s hear the reasons why Kate and Kaz chose their places to


Extract 4:

Well I went to Edinburgh University, and I chose Edinburgh because I love the city, the

university had a very good reputation, and it was close enough to my home town without

actually being my hometown so it was only about an hour away, so I could go home at

weekends if I wanted to.

I went to Sussex University in the 1970s, and I chose Sussex above other universities,

because it had an excellent reputation in biology which was the subject I studied.

6 Minute English © bbclearningenglish.com 2010

Page 5 of 6

Alice: So Kate is like me. She chose somewhere that was not too far from home. She

could go home at weekends.

Rob: And the university in Edinburgh had a good reputation. And what about Kaz?

Alice: For him, it had an excellent reputation for teaching biology. So it seems

reputation does actually count.

Rob: OK Alice, it’s time to tell you what was the top university in the London

Times Higher Education List. You thought it was….?

Alice: Cambridge? Am I right?

Rob: Well Cambridge and Oxford in the UK are in the top ten, but the number one

university is…Harvard in the USA.

Alice: Of course! Harvard was going to be my second choice.

Rob: I think you need to go back to university to do some more learning! But before

you do Alice, could you tell us some of the words we have learnt today?

Alice: Research



6 Minute English © bbclearningenglish.com 2010

Page 6 of 6

Gross domestic product






Rob: That’s all we’ve got time for today. Thanks for joining us and see you next


Rob/Alice: Bye.

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