Tech shines as Britain excels in university world rankings

UK universities have achieved their best ever performance in new university world rankings, with a record six British universities making the global top 20.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology finished top for the third year in a row but Cambridge and Imperial were tied for second and Oxford and UCL also made the top ten of the QS rankings.

The QS World University Rankings are widely recognised as the definitive index

London in particular fared extremely well in the rankings. It had five universities in the top 100, more than any other city in the world. 19 British universities made the top 100.

Imperial innovation thrives…

There was a particular focus on tech in this year’s rankings which QS head of research Ben Sowter believes is because tech is increasingly synonymous with innovation.

Imperial College made particular headway this year in the rankings, leapfrogging Harvard, UCL and Oxford to rank second equal in the world.  Much of the university’s success has been put down to the innovation coming out of it.

Earlier this year, it announced a £20m partnership with KPMG to make the UK a world leader in data science and also became the first British university to support paying for goods on campus using a mobile app.

Newly-appointed President of Imperial Professor Alice Gast praised the institution’s “rare ability to turn outstanding research into discoveries that have a real impact on the world”.

…so does the Golden Triangle

London’s dominance in the top 100 and Cambridge and Oxford’s lofty positioning at 2nd and 5th respectively is a hugely positive sign for the ‘Golden Triangle’ that is being established between the three cities.

In reaction to the the world rankings, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he believes it consolidates “London’s position as the education capital of the world”.

Nowhere else will you find such a critical mass of top universities within just a few miles of each other, all providing an excellent education and producing graduates who go on to be leaders in their fields.

From accountants to zoologists, I’m proud to say that London universities are at the forefront of teaching and research.

In April, Johnson announced ‘Medcity’, an organisation to oversee the development of the life sciences sector established within the Golden Triangle.

British universities in the top 100




University of Cambridge


Imperial College London


University of Oxford


University College London


King’s College London


University of Edinburgh


University of Bristol


The University of Manchester


University of Glasgow


The University of Warwick


University of Birmingham


The University of Sheffield




The University of Nottingham


University of St Andrews


Durham University


University of Southampton


University of Leeds


Queen Mary, University of London