UCL News


UCL climbs again in world university rankings

9 October 2008


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  • UCL 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 (THE), 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."

    For more information on UCL and the THE, click on the links above.

    The top ten world universities as ranked by THE (2008 position in column one, 2007 position in column two).
    1 1 Harvard
    2 2= Yale
    3 2= Cambridge
    4 2= Oxford
    5 7= California Institute of Technology
    6 5 Imperial College London
    7 9 UCL 
    8 7= University of Chicago 
    9 10 MIT
    10 11 Columbia University

    Some other recent successes for UCL

    A 2006 CWTS and RAND Europe study found that, among English universities, UCL is the most cited by health researchers. Subsequently, the Department of Health announced that UCL is to be academic partner in one of five new Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centres and two of six new Specialist Biomedical Research Centres.

    A research paper co-authored by Professor Katherine Homewood (UCL Anthropology) was recognised in 2005 as one of the most highly cited in its field.

    A UCL-designed research paper was named one of 2005's Red-Hot Research Papers by Thomson Scientific. The top-cited cancer paper was the ATAC study into breast cancer, which was in tenth place overall for the whole of medical science.

    In 2007 Thomson Scientific declared Visiting Professor John Birks (UCL Geography) to be the world's sixth most-cited geoscientist.

    UCL research into the relationship between amnesia and imagination was named one of the top ten breakthroughs of 2007 by 'Science' magazine.

    UCL Neuroscience researchers generate more than 30% of the country's contribution to the most highly cited publications in neuroscience, more than twice as much as any other university. In neuroimaging and clinical neurology, UCL produces 65% and 44% of the UK's contribution to the world's most highly cited papers, five-fold larger than that of the next highest UK institution.