Each year QS publish the World University Rankings, a list of over 950 of the world’s outstanding higher education institutions. These rankings are created based on a university’s academic reputation (40%), the faculty staff to student ratio (20%), citations per faculty (20%), its employer reputation (10%), the international faculty ratio and the ratio of international students (5%).
As a clear “winner,” at the top of the league table for the sixth consecutive year, came the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. MIT was closely followed by three other leading universities in the States: Stanford and Harvard Universities and the California Institute of Technology. More than 180 Canadian and American universities made this year’s QS World Rankings. However, the University of Cambridge (https://www.cam.ac.uk) was ranked as the best university in the United Kingdom, and number five in the world overall. The University of Oxford fell just behind Cambridge at number 6, followed by UCL (University College London) and Imperial College in London. The last two universities that managed to make the top ten list were the University of Chicago and ETH Zurich in Switzerland.
In 2018, there were no new entries in the global top ten but it was a year of “firsts” for a number of other reasons. For example, there were multiple institutions from Russia that performed very well, as a result of the increased funding they have received from their government recently. Furthermore, six universities from China made the top one hundred list for the first time. These new arrivals include Zhejiang University and the University of Science and Technology in China.
So, how did universities in the UK do in comparison to last year? Has the Brexit result had any evident impact on the ranking of British universities? Though it is difficult to determine yet, both the University of Edinburgh and King’s College London fell from rank 19 and 21 to a joint position of 23. Ultimately, this means that there were less UK universities in the top twenty compared to the QS rankings in 2017. Similarly, the University of Manchester dropped from 29 to 34, whereas the London School of Economics climbed up from position 37 to 35! The only other British university to make the top fifty was the University of Bristol at 44.
Although the QS World Rankings should not determine your university decision, it is interesting to see how the world of higher education is in flux. When researching courses in higher education, it might be more helpful to use the QS World University Rankings by Subject as a reference.
Whilst the world’s most prestigious universities are difficult to shift from their top spots, they face more competition from institutions in China, Russia and Latin America than ever before.
- By Lili Melvin