London best city for universities, says world rankings

London has the most top ranked universities of any city in the world, according to the latest university rankings.

International students at Tower Bridge

The thirteenth edition of the QS World University Rankings, compiled by global higher education think tank QS Quacquarelli Symonds since 2004, shows that London has four universities in the top 40.


University College London (7), Imperial College London (9), King’s College London (21) and London School of Economics and Political Science (37) are the city’s highest performing institutions. London has a total of 16 universities in the rankings, 44% of which have moved up.


Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Boasting more of the globe’s top universities and welcoming the most international students, London is the higher education capital of the world and I want to make sure it stays that way.

“People who come from abroad to study in London leave as ambassadors for our city, spreading the message that the capital is a fantastic place to live, work and visit. I’m saying loud and clear to the world that London is open as the best place to study, do business and innovate, and a city where all Londoners can take advantage of these opportunities.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the world’s best university for the fifth consecutive year. The University of Cambridge is once again the UK’s top ranked institution.

Amongst UK universities, Cambridge, Oxford, UCL and Imperial remain within the top 10 institutions in the world. The University of Edinburgh joins the top 20 and the University of Manchester enters the top 30.

QS says the United Kingdom comfortably retains its status as the world’s second-best higher education nation, retaining the same number of top-400, top-100, and top-50 universities as in 2015/16’s instalment). However, the evidence suggests the USA is stretching its lead and Asian universities are making inroads.

Elsewhere in the world, Italian and French institutions see significant drops, whilst universities in China, South Korea, and Russia report noteworthy improvements.


The full QS World University Rankings for 2016/17 can be found here.