Imperial College beats Oxford and Cambridge in global university rankings for first time

Imperial College beats Oxford and Cambridge in global university rankings for first time

​​Imperial College London has beaten both Oxford and Cambridge in global university rankings for the first time ever.

Imperial jumped four spots from last year to secure second place in the QS World University Rankings, getting ahead of Oxford and Cambridge for the first time in the 20-year history of the rankings.

Cambridge fell to fifth while Oxford stayed third. They were joined in the top 10 by University College London.

The top spot went to the American university MIT.

Imperial and Cambridge had tied for second place in 2014.

QS attributed the London university’s improved ranking to its research performance, employability scores and commitment to sustainability.

Of the 90 British universities ranked by QS this year, 20 improved their positions from last year, 52 fell down and 18 stayed put.

“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,” Imperial chief executive Jessica Turner said in a statement.

“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.”

Professor Hugh Brady, president of Imperial College, 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.”

This year’s edition of the QS rankings was the largest ever conducted by the higher education analytics firm, featuring over 1,500 universities from 105 higher education systems.

The rankings considered the perspectives of 175,798 academics and 105,476 employers, the company said.