Imperial rises in global league tables


Imperial College London

Imperial College London has improved its position in two major world university rankings this year.

In the QS World University Rankings, announced in September, Imperial rose to joint-2nd – the College’s best ever performance – behind MIT, tied with Cambridge and just ahead of Harvard.

We compete better when we collaborate effectively with our competitors, and quality and impact rise.

– Professor Alice Gast


In today’s Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Imperial rose from 10th to 9th place, equal with Yale. 

Imperial’s President Professor Alice Gast has written a commentary in today’s Times Higher Education arguing that both competition and collaboration are essential for world-class universities like Imperial. 

She writes: “One need only look across the campuses of universities in the top ranks of these league tables to see that great education by definition is global, with brilliant students flocking to them from all corners of the world. They are attracted to the likes of Imperial, not only because of the opportunities created by excellent teaching and research, but also because of the thriving intellectual and entrepreneurial atmosphere on offer: in our case heightened by being situated in what may be the world’s most global city. 

“At Imperial, about half of our students come from outside the UK, as do almost as many of our academics. Their presence creates ties that span disciplines, cross national boundaries and endure for lifetimes.”

Global spectrum

Alice GastTurning to research, Professor Gast said: “Just as students benefit from a university environment that represents the global spectrum of cultures and values, so does research: it is interesting that such a fiercely competitive endeavour benefits so greatly from international collaboration, essential to building the best and most competitive research teams. We compete better when we collaborate effectively with our competitors, and quality and impact rise.

“At Imperial I see research on many fronts advancing through this strategy. The grand challenges facing the world and the complex approaches required to surmount them are too big for individual universities: they need integrated international teams. Whether it’s with China’s Tsinghua, Zhejiang or Peking universities, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, Stanford University in the US, Qatar Petroleum and the Qatar Science and Technology Park, the São Paulo Research Foundation in Brazil or South Korea’s KAIST, Imperial’s academics are doing much more than they could alone.”

For further information on Imperial’s ratings in UK and world league tables, click here.


Andrew Scheuber

Andrew Scheuber
Communications Division

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