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06th Jun 2024

University knocks Oxford and Cambridge off top spot as UK’s best

Ryan Price

It’s the first time in years that Oxbridge has been overshadowed.

A London-based university has leapfrogged Oxford and Cambridge as the top uni in the UK.

Imperial College London, which has it’s main campus in the affluent Kensington area of the capital, has taken the top spot of UK’s best university.

A new international league table reveals that Imperial has risen from sixth place to second in the world, ending years of Oxford and Cambridge dominance.

In the world standings, Imperial College comes in second, behind only Massachusetts Institute of Tehcnology (MIT) in the United States.

The University of Oxford was ranked third in the table, while University of Cambridge came in fifth.

America’s historic Harvard came in fourth while Stanford University in California took the sixth place spot.

Elsewhere in the top ten, Switzerland’s ETH Zurich was at seventh, while the National University of Singapore came in at eight.

Imperial owes its rise up the rankings to its world leading research, outstanding employability scores and an exceptional commitment to sustainability.

The President of Imperial College, Professor Hugh Brady, said: “Imperial’s ranking is a testament to the quality and commitment of our entire community. It is inspiring to see our students, staff, and partners come together every day to interrogate the forces that shape our world and address the challenges facing humanity and our planet.”

While it’s great news for Imperial, the league table tells the story of a drop off for British universities as a whole. For example, Cambridge slipped from second place in last year’s rankings to fifth this time around.

Jessica Turner, CEO of Quacquarelli Symonds who conducted the research, said: “In the decade since Imperial College London was last crowned the United Kingdom’s leading university, the country’s sector has relentlessly continued to achieve world-leading performances despite the turbulence the country has faced, producing world-leading research and remaining one of the globe’s premier study destinations.”

She added: “However, this year’s results suggest that British higher education has limited capacity remaining to continue excelling in the face of funding shortages, drops in student applications, and ambiguity about the status of international students. Whatever the result of July’s election, the next government must make a properly resourced, continually championed higher education sector an urgent priority. It is one of the UK’s great assets and achievements and must be maintained accordingly.”

Other UK universities that ranked highly were University College London (9th), University of Edinburgh (27th), and University of Manchester (34th).

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