UCL News


UCL ranked 8th best university in the world

8 June 2021

UCL has climbed from tenth to eighth place in the 2022 QS World University Rankings.

Visitors talking in the quad at a UCL open day

The university secured joint eighth position, sharing the spot with Switzerland’s ETH Zurich and rising two places from the 2021 rankings.

In total, the United Kingdom is home to five of the world’s top twenty universities, all of whom have improved their ranking over the last year.

QS is the world’s most-consulted international rankings, now including 1,300 universities - 145 more than in 2021 - making this year the publication's largest ever edition.

The company uses six indicators to compile the rankings: academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty-to-student ratio, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.

On five of the metrics, UCL scored 98.9/100 or higher, with particular improvement on employer reputation, faculty-to-student ratio, and proportion of international students.

UCL President & Provost, Dr Michael Spence, said: “I’m delighted to see this recognition of the talent and hard work of UCL’s incredible community of staff and students. Their commitment to addressing the most pressing challenges facing the world by collaborating across borders and disciplines, even during these difficult times, is remarkable.”

In March, UCL was named by QS as one of the world’s top universities for the study of 43 subjects, with nine ranked in the global top ten.

UCL Institute of Education maintained its position as first in the world for Education for the 8th year in a row. The Bartlett moved up one place to second in the world for Architecture & the Built Environment and Archaeology also held its position as third in the world.

Currently, approximately 20% of the world’s research is carried out through global collaboration. For the UK, however, this figure is much higher, with 53% of its research involving international engagement.

Ben Sowter, Director of Research at QS, said the results highlighted the ‘enduring value of international collaboration’, adding: “It is no accident that the most internationally collaborative universities are also those enjoying success in our rankings, or that the UK’s rate of research improvement outstrips the global mean. As British higher education navigates its post-Brexit future, this lesson should not be ignored."

This year’s top ten spots are taken by universities in the UK and US as well as ETH Zurich. Massachusetts Institute of Technology has retained its number one position for the tenth year running.

For the first time, two universities from Mainland China have ranked among the global top 20: Tsinghua University and Peking University.

UCL has risen two places to eighth in the 2022 Complete University Guide rankings of UK universities.


Media Contact

Sophie Vinter

Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 7787

Email: s.vinter [at] ucl.ac.uk