UCL News


UCL fourth in new university world rankings

8 October 2009


UCL main quad timeshighereducation.co.uk/" target="_self">Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings

UCL has today climbed to fourth place in the annual Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.

This is UCL's highest ever position in the Rankings, placing it second among UK universities behind the University of Cambridge.

Listen to UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant discuss UCL's rise in the rankings

Welcoming the news, Professor Malcolm Grant, UCL President and Provost, said: "League tables can never measure all a university's qualities. They capture a few key aspects of a complex organism. Yet we are pleased by UCL's spectacular progression up the tables in recent years, because it does reflect the truly outstanding quality of UCL's community of academics, and of our students from around the world.

"UCL is a remarkable place. It has an edginess to it, a spirit of restless energy; its traditions are of radical change and innovation. It continues to pursue the highest standards of academic rigour, while responding rapidly and flexibly to the world in which it operates. We believe that the world's leading universities not only have the ability to address the major challenges facing the globe in the twenty-first century, but also the duty to do so, even though this requires new intellectual approaches, new partnerships and new models of internal organisation.

"One aspect of this is our role as London's global university. For example, we are launching today a major new partnership with Yale. We have agreed to combine forces to tackle some of the world's major challenges, focusing initially on developing 14 defined programmes within medicine and healthcare. This is a unique trans-Atlantic venture between two of the world's leading institutions. It is devoted entirely to bringing about improvements in human welfare."

Phil Baty, deputy editor of Times Higher Education magazine and editor of the World University Rankings, said: "UCL's rise up the world rankings can truly be described as meteoric - year after year we have watched it climb up the top 30, and it has now earned its place as number four in the world, above global super-brands like the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and Princeton University in the US. UCL's achievements are stunning.

"It has earned admiration in the higher education world for its eye-catching strategy to pool its research expertise across a wide range of disciplines, in order to tackle some of the world's most pressing problems - climate change, global health, intercultural interaction. But academics in other universities will be jealous, in particular, of UCL's moves to give its researchers the freedom to think, by hiring special research coordinators who can relieve academics from some of the more stifling bureaucratic burdens of modern academic life."


UCL context

  • UCL is Europe's leading health research powerhouse, with the one of the world's major concentrations of biomedical researchers.
  • UCL Partners is one of the UK's first academic health science centres, and is the largest and most productive such partnership in Europe, comprising UCL and its five partner hospital trusts. Together, these organisations treat over 1.5 million patients every year, support over 3,500 scientists, senior researchers and consultants, and have a combined annual turnover of around £2 billion.
  • 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.
  • UCL plays a major part in the life and development of its home city, London.
  • The university is one of the foremost in the UK for research and innovation, and is dedicated to harnessing its exceptional research for positive social and economic benefit.