Wednesday 02 October 2013

London is one of the best places in the world to study with four universities at the top of a prestigious global ranking of higher education institutions.

The capital boasts four top 40 universities – up from three the previous year – which is more than any other city in the world. London also has six in the top 200, which is more than the whole of Japan, China, Sweden and South Korea.


In Life Sciences the UK capital has three universities in the top 40 and three in the top 20 for Clinical and Medicine – again a greater number than anywhere else.


The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings cement London’s reputation as the best city in the world for higher education. Overall, the UK is excelling with 31 universities in the top 200 (49 in the top 400) – second only to the USA with 77.


A quarter of London’s 420,000 students come from abroad, contributing £2.5 billion each year to the economy. Last year over 11,000 students came from China followed by nearly 7,000 from India.


The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘These rankings testify to London’s strength in higher education and to our lengthening lead over European rivals.


‘With more stellar universities in the top 40 than anywhere else in the world, we have 110,000 of the brightest international students studying here already – but we want to attract even more.

‘London offers more than 30,000 courses across dozens of institutions but it are the sheer quality of our education that sets us apart.


‘This is especially true when it comes to medical and life sciences with some of the globe’s best specialist institutions producing ground breaking research. This is changing lives for the better whilst bringing jobs and businesses to grow the capital’s economy at the same time.”


Kevin McCarthy, Head of Education and Culture at London Partners, said: ‘The ranking is an amazing achievement for London’s universities – whether you look at the top 40, top 200 or top 400, London’s universities come out as one of the strongest clusters in the world.

‘But we also need to look beyond the university ranking and recognise the other areas of excellence that exist in London – in our art and design schools; or medical schools; and also our top ranked business schools.

‘There are other elite universities, like the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine that is undertaking ground breaking work in the prevention of, and maybe even a cure for, malaria.


‘The school isn’t listed in the ranking not because it’s not world class but because it’s a specialist university and therefore falls outside the criteria.


‘London has a number of such specialist and excellent institutes.


‘Overseas students are also broadening their course choice from traditional subject areas like business and engineering towards the creative arts subjects. London can capitalise on this become we have such a large creative economy and lead the world in design, fashion, music and film.’


Phil Baty, Editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, said: ‘It is great that the UK has a powerful global innovation stronghold that retains its status as a global bastion to attract the top talent and to drive the economy through high level skills, the creation of new knowledge and technological innovation.


‘London Mayor Boris Johnson has described London as a ‘cyclotron of human beings’: That is what we have in London: the critical mass of talent, because we have more universities than almost any other city on Earth and more foreign students than I think any other city on Earth.’


London universities in the top 200 are Imperial College (10), University College (21), London School of Economics (32), King’s College (38), Royal Holloway (102) and Queen Mary (114).


London has five medical schools, three dental schools, three associated clinical schools plus other institutions specialising in many subjects including art, design, fashion, drama and music.


Among overseas students business studies is still the most popular course though there is an increase take up in creative courses.

Notes to Editors

About Times Higher Education


The Times Higher Education World University Rankings offer detailed comparative performance information on the world’s top universities against the broad range of a university’s activities (teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook) all against an established and trusted methodology, with data provided by Thomson Reuters.


The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-14 draw upon:

  • The world’s largest academic reputation survey (more than 10,000 academics in 2013, and almost 60,000 since 2010)
  • 50 million citations analysed and compared with the world average from the same field
  • Arts, humanities and social sciences placed on an equal footing with science
  • Thirteen indicators across five areas have been taken into account, making this the ONLY world rankings to examine ALL the core missions of a modern global university: research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity.


Phil Nettleton
PR Manager
London Partners
+44 (0)20 7234 5787