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UCL among world’s super-elite for law, education and social sciences

5 October 2017

UCL has reaffirmed its status as a world-leading university in law, education and social sciences in the latest round of rankings published by the Times Higher Education (THE).

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Law at UCL has been ranked eighth in the world with Duke (1st), Stanford (2nd), Yale (3rd) and Chicago (4th) at the top and only Oxford (5th) and Cambridge (6th) above the university in the UK in what are the first separate tables produced by the THE for the subject.

In the first table ranking education by the THE, UCL Institute of Education (IOE) comes 16th in the world and second in the UK to Oxford. IOE came first in the QS world university rankings earlier this year for the fourth successive year.

Its THE position could be explained by the journal’s criteria which is heavily based on research citations giving less credit to the extensive initial teacher training that is core to the IOE’s public service mission.

UCL is 17th in the world for social sciences with Oxford (1st), Cambridge (6th) and London School of Economics (LSE) (10th). Social sciences includes communication and media studies, politics and international studies (including development studies), sociology and geography.

Piet Eeckhout, dean of the faculty of laws, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to by the world's No 8 in the THE first ever international ranking for Law.  We feel this vindicates the hard work of the Faculty and of our outstanding students, and the level of excellence we aspire to. 

“Huge congratulations and thanks to the whole of UCL Laws, and in particular to our outgoing Dean, Professor Dame Hazel Genn, for her stellar contribution to taking us to this level. We look forward to continuing to provide our staff and students with a most wonderfully inspiring place to study and work".

UCL said it reaffirmed IOE’s status as a world-leading centre for research and teaching: “Different institutional and subject rankings employ different methodologies. The UCL Institute of Education tends to perform exceptionally well in international subject rankings – in 2017 placed first for Education for the fourth year in a row in the QS World University Rankings.

“That a different methodology places us within the world top-20 for education confirms our standing as a world-leading centre for research and teaching in this field.”

In the overall THE tables, UCL is ranked 16th in the world and fourth in the UK behind Oxford, which came first, Cambridge, which jumped two places to second, and Imperial College, London, which was eighth. LSE was 25th and King’s College, London, 36th.

The results re-affirm UCL’s status as a world-leading university following its seventh place in the QS world rankings (third in the UK) and its 16th placing in the ShanghaiRanking world tables (also third in the UK).

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