You are here

Why Imperial College London is One of the UK's Best Universities

Why Imperial College London is One of the UK's Best Universities main image

The QS World University Rankings® 2018 has now been released, and for the second year running UK universities have not got a lot to shout about. Although the likes of Cambridge and Oxford remain near the top of the ranking of over 950 universities, UK institutions have, on average, fallen down the table.

One exception to this trend, however, has been Imperial College London which has risen one place from eighth to ninth. While other universities in the UK have suffered as a result of financial cuts and increased competition from universities abroad, Imperial is continuing to thrive, as evidenced by its performance across the six different indicators used by QS to rank universities. Imperial is ranked 23rd in the world for academic reputation, while its extremely healthy ratio of students to faculty is the 18th best in the world.

Imperial has always had a fantastic reputation in the fields of science and technology. In this year’s QS World University Rankings by Subject, the university was ranked in the world’s top 10 universities for engineering & technology subjects as well as natural and environmental sciences.

James Finley, who is studying a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial, told TopUniversities: “Imperial has amazing research facilities and all the students receive close tuition from their supervisors. As a result, this produces a lot of new and interesting research.”

It’s not just the university’s academic record that’s impressive. Imperial is also ranked 20th in the world in the latest QS Graduate Employability rankings, suggesting its graduates are well-placed to enter a competitive job market. This is backed up by the strong reputation the university enjoys with employers: it’s ranked eighth in the world for this indicator in the 2018 world rankings.

James said: “Imperial really stands out to me because of its close links with industry. They also have Imperial Innovations, which is a commercial partner of the university that helps fund new startups. I think these close links and willingness to invest in their students is why the university has one of the highest employment rates in the UK.”

While it may be some time before Imperial is mentioned in the same breath as Oxford and Cambridge, one area it’s out-doing its more illustrious competition is in the area of diversity. As this year’s rankings show, the number of international students and faculty at the university is particularly noteworthy. It has the 12th best ratio of international students in the world, while the ratio of international faculty members is the 42nd best.

This diversity exists across class boundaries as well as international borders. James told us: “I really like the university’s approach to diversity. The Imperial Outreach project helps young people from less privileged backgrounds receive free tuition on exciting STEM activities. The Imperial Festival [a free annual event which allows the public to explore the university’s latest research] is another great example of the university’s openness.”

Whether Imperial can continue to buck the nationwide trend remains to be seen, but the university will be encouraged by the fact it continues to thrive despite the financial and political pressures facing all UK universities at present. One thing that’s worth noting is that QS isn’t alone in thinking Imperial is impressing at the moment. Last month, the Guardian published their university league tables and, as with the QS rankings, Imperial had moved one place higher compared to the year before.

“Overall, I’ve really enjoyed studying at Imperial,” said James. “I feel it’s really pushed me to achieve the best I can during my time here, and I feel well-equipped for my next big step after my PhD.”

Want to learn more about Imperial College London? Click here to view the university’s profile.

 

Related categories:

Floris V & JACK M saved this
Written by Craig OCallaghan
As editor of TopUniversities.com, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

Want to leave a comment?

Please login or register to post
comment above our articles

1 Comment

A curious fact: Imperial offer the 1st, 3rd and 7th highest-earning courses (on average) in the UK, ie. geology, computer science and electrical/electronic engineering.