Imperial named as the UK's most international university


Imperial is the UK's most international university

A new ranking by Times Higher Education has found that Imperial College London is the UK's most international university.

The study, which also placed Imperial as the 10th most international university in the world, considered each institution’s proportion of international staff, students and research papers published with at least one co-author from another country. 

Being named one of the most international universities in the world is a sign of great potential, competitiveness and dynamism.

– Phil Baty

Editor, Times Higher Education World University Rankings

London is also the world’s most international city for higher education with 15 universities in the top 200, putting it ahead of the whole of the United States, Canada and France. 

Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London, said: “Imperial’s international outlook is fundamental to its excellence. The College’s Strategy 2015-20 makes it clear that we succeed by recruiting great people from all over the world, collaborating across boundaries, and working to inform decision makers on issues that matter to global society.

“No university can achieve world-class status without a global community of staff, students and collaborators. Innovation often emerges from the creative synergies that occur when people from different cultures, disciplines and sectors come together.

“We intend to build on our global position and thus we are investing in opportunities like our joint seed fund with MIT to encourage our researchers to collaborate on early stage and risky research. We also seek to attract world leaders like President Xi Jinping who visited the College to learn about our extraordinary wealth of education and research partnerships with China.” 

Top talent and collaboration

Over the past three years, Imperial has hosted three heads of state – from South Korea, Singapore and China – while establishing itself as the UK’s number one research collaborator with China. Imperial’s European connections have also grown significantly with 60,000 joint research publications over the past 10 years. Around 20% of the student body and 25% of the staff are from other EU and EEA countries and 12% of the College’s research funding comes from the European Commission. 

Phil Baty, Times Higher Education World University Rankings editor, said: “An institution’s global outlook is one of the key markers of a prestigious university. The top institutions hire faculty from all over the world, attract students from a global market of top talent and collaborate with leading departments wherever they happen to be based.

 “All institutions in this list deserve to celebrate – being named one of the most international universities in the world is a sign of great potential, competitiveness and dynamism.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London not only has the greatest concentration of top class universities of any city in the world it is also the most diverse and welcoming. At the cutting edge of innovation and creativity, and with its unique cultural richness, London continues to have unrivalled international appeal attracting the brightest academic and student brains on the planet.”

In 2015, both Times Higher Education and QS ranked Imperial as the world’s 8th best university. That year, Reuters also found Imperial to be Europe’s most innovative university.

The full THE international ranking can be viewed here.


Andrew Scheuber

Andrew Scheuber
Communications Division

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