IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


UCL Institute of Education retains world number one position for Education in QS subject rankings

27 February 2019

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) has been ranked as the world number one for Education for the sixth year in a row, the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject published today (27 February) reveal.

UCL Institute of Education named World Number 1 for Education

The IOE has enjoyed a productive year, with research highlighting, among many findings, the downsides of setting pupils by attainment (and how to mitigate them) and the most productive reading habits. The IOE also provided a ‘state of the nation’ report on England’s school system, supported edtech startups, celebrated the 60th birthday of the 1958 national birth cohort study and launched the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy. Alumna Andria Zafirakou was also named the world’s best teacher.

Speaking on the news of the IOE being named world number one for education, Professor Becky Francis, Director of the IOE, said: “It’s a wonderful accolade and testament to the incredible work being done by all our staff, students, alumni, partners, clients and funders. But we can’t ever be complacent. We have a job to do, and that job is more challenging and more needed than ever.

“One of the greatest challenges facing society is the pace of change, whether driven by technological advancement or greater instability around the world.  We are working to understand and directly respond to these drivers.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us in our work over the past year, and say how much I’m looking forward to continuing to work together. 

"In these turbulent times, it is education that will enable individuals and societies to better face the challenges of change.”

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Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL, said: “To be ranked number one in the world in your field for six years in a row is truly phenomenal. The UCL Institute of Education’s performance in the QS World University Rankings is something that we are extremely proud of, testament as it is to the esteem in which its research, teaching and wider contribution is held. My warm congratulations to IOE colleagues once again.”

In addition to the IOE’s number 1 position, 9 other subject areas from UCL have been ranked in the top 10 globally: archaeology (3rd), architecture and the built environment (1st), anatomy & physiology (5th), anthropology (5th), pharmacy & pharmacology (7th), geography (7th), medicine (9th), psychology (10th) and life Sciences & Medicine (10th).

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), said: “While we always treat league tables with a healthy degree of scepticism, we are delighted to see that UCL has once again been recognised for its strong global performance across a wide range of subjects. It demonstrates the strength and breadth of our academic excellence and teaching, as well as our capacity to address some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.

“I would like to congratulate colleagues across UCL for these excellent results. In particular, UCL’s Institute of Education and the Bartlett for being ranked top in the world. This is a tremendous achievement.” 

The QS World University Rankings by subject highlight the world’s top universities in a range of subject areas. Published annually since 2011, the rankings are based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research citations.

UCL features amongst the world’s leading institutions in 39 of the 48 subjects featured in this year’s rankings. The QS World University rankings – which rank universities overall, rather than at subject level – will be published later this year. In 2018, these rankings placed UCL at number 7 in the world.

Media contact

Rowan Walker, UCL Media Relations
T: +44 (0) 20 3108 8515 / +44 (0) 7769 141006 
E: rowan.walker@ucl.ac.uk