UCL News


UCL climbs to 7th in the THE-QS World University Rankings

9 October 2008

UCL (University College London) today welcomed the news that it has been ranked 7th in the new Times Higher Education - QS World University rankings.

In 2007, UCL was ranked 9th. This ranking places UCL 4th among UK universities, with Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial also in the top ten.

Professor Malcolm Grant, UCL President and Provost, said: "Our performance is a genuine source of satisfaction for the UCL community. League table success is not an end in itself. League tables cannot measure all of the qualities of a university. But this result does reflect UCL's significant achievements over recent years. It reflects the powerful contribution of the UCL community in research, in teaching and in knowledge transfer, as well as the major projects that we have in hand.

"For all of the sector's reservations about league tables, we have to recognise that their publication has focused attention on the importance of universities, almost as totems of national pride, which is absolutely as it should be."

Phil Baty, deputy editor of Times Higher Education magazine, said: "This year, most of the UK's world-class universities slipped down the rankings, as the US cemented its dominance. The US invests more than twice as much in higher education, in terms of GDP, than the UK, and Harvard University alone, at the top of the table, has an endowment fund that is larger than the total public funding for all universities in England. So in this context, UCL's improved position in the top ten is remarkable."

About UCL

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. UCL was the first English university to offer modern languages to degree level. The UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture has been voted the UK's top school of architecture for five years running by the readers of Architects Journal.

In the government's most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 59 UCL departments achieved top ratings of 5* and 5, indicating research quality of international excellence. Recent independent analysis of the Thomson Scientific Citation Index system - which catalogues journal articles and citations in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities - indicated that UCL is the second most productive and the third most highly cited European university, and the UK university most-cited by health researchers.

UCL currently has over 12,000 undergraduate and 8,000 postgraduate students. Its annual income is over £600 million. Around one third of UCL students come from overseas, from over 150 countries.

UCL Biomedicine

  • UCL is one of Europe's largest and most productive centres of biomedicine. According to the Department of Health, UCL is the most cited health research facility in the UK. Biomedicine at UCL includes the Institute of Child Health, Institute of Neurology, Institute of Ophthalmology, and Eastman Dental Institute.
  • In December 2007, the Prime Minister announced that UCL would be one of four partners - along with Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust - who will be collaborating to build the UK Centre for Medical Research & Innovation (UKCMRI), a world class research centre that will be tackling some of the biggest medical challenges facing the 21st century.
  • Earlier this year UCL, joined up with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Moorfields Eye Hospital, the Royal Free Hampstead and University College London Hospitals to create Europe's largest academic health science partnership, UCL Partners.

UCL Grand Challenges

· In 2008, as part of its research strategy, UCL launched its Grand Challenges, challenges of global significance in which new interdisciplinary solutions can thrive, and where we will work to develop lasting and innovative solutions. The initial Grand Challenges are: Global Health; Sustainable Cities; Intercultural Interactions, and Human Well-Being.

UCL in London

· UCL is the largest employer in the London Borough of Camden, with over 8,000 employees. UCL runs a comprehensive Widening Participation programme including extensive links with local schools, and a formal partnership with City and Islington Sixth Form College. UCL is currently developing plans to sponsor a new secondary school, as part of the Government's academies schools programme, and this is scheduled to open in Camden in 2011.

UCL and Business

· UCL is one of the premier universities in the UK for research and innovation, and is dedicated to harnessing its exceptional research for positive social and economic benefit. It has also built a reputation as a pioneer of collaboration between industry and academia as well as for supporting entrepreneurship on the part of both students and academics. UCL was recently commended for its work engaging and supporting businesses and the wider community by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Notes for Editors

1. For further information, please contact Dominique Fourniol, Head of Media Relations, on 0044 207 679 9728 or 0044 7881 833 274.

2. Further information about UCL and images can also be obtained at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/media/