QS World University Ranking: 4 UK universities named among the best in the world - full list

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University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Imperial College, and UCL are all ranked as among the best in the world.

Four universities in the UK have been ranked among the best in the world in a new global league table. University of Cambridge and University of Oxford have been ranked second and third respectively in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

Meanwhile, the two other UK universities that made it to the prestigious list were Imperial College in London at number six and University College London which came ninth,  with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US taking the top spot for the 12th consecutive year.

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The global league table, now in its 20th year, analyses the academic reputation, employability, international research and sustainability of each university. The year’s results mean 40 per cent of the top 10 universities were from the UK, sharing the same percentage with the US’ institutions.

Switzerland’s ETH Zurich and Singapore’s National University also made the list at number seven and eight, respectively. In the meantime, Harvard University was ranked fourth, followed by Stanford University (fifth) and University of California, Berkeley at number 10.

The UK is also viewed in "excellent esteem" by international companies and academics, according to the 2024 league table, and has some of the world’s most employable graduates. The league table includes 1,500 universities, with 90 from the United Kingdom ranking second only to the United States (199), and ahead of China (71).

The University of Edinburgh, University of Manchester, King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) are also named in the top 50. Overall, UK universities saw the most improvements in terms of diversity and accessibility to foreign students but they saw a drop in the rating for class size and teaching allocation.

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Jessica Turner, QS Chief Executive, said: “UK universities have demonstrated their powerful global appeal, excelled as international education front-runners, and produced some of the world’s most employable graduates.

“Their commitment to robust international collaboration has transformed them into a global magnet, attracting bright minds from around the world. Despite this noteworthy success, it is important to recognise the increasingly competitive international education landscape.

University of Cambridge has been ranked among the best in the worldUniversity of Cambridge has been ranked among the best in the world
University of Cambridge has been ranked among the best in the world | Getty Images/iStockphoto

“As students explore a wider range of universities across multiple countries, the UK must continue to innovate and uphold its world-class offerings to remain a preferred choice for students globally.”

Best universities in the world - top 10

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2. University of Cambridge
  3. University of Oxford
  4. Harvard University
  5. Stanford University
  6. Imperial College London
  7. ETH Zurich
  8. National University of Singapore
  9. UCL
  10. University of California, Berkeley
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