Imperial College London beats Cambridge and Oxford for first time in new uni world rankings

ICL placed as the second best university in the world

Imperial College London has beaten Cambridge University and Oxford University in a new world ranking for 2025.

Higher education analytics company QS released their annual world university rankings yesterday, where it was announced that Imperial College London (ICL) beat both Oxford and Cambridge universities for the first time ever.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology scored the highest on their list, with ICL placing second.

In a statement, Imperial’s President, Professor Hugh Brady, celebrated the university’s success and 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.”

Imperial College moved four places up in the world ranking 2025 from last year, where it placed sixth in the world.

The rankings are created by assigning universities points based on their performance in areas like academic reputation, employer reputation ,the ratio of faculty to students, the proportion of international students, and how often research from the university is cited in other published research.

UCL, the only other London university in the top 30, was ranked ninth and has consistently placed in the top 10 for over 12 years.

In a statement, UCL vice-provost, Professor Geraint Rees, said: “This outstanding result is a great recognition of UCL’s world-leading research, innovation and education, and the many people across the university who make that possible.”

He added: “I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations to the UCL community; this result is testament to their commitment and dedication to excellence.”

Since last year’s rankings, QS have added three new categories to factor into their analysis.

Their research now accounts for employment outcomes for students, sustainability and how often the university conducts research with other institutions internationally.

Other London Universities in the top 100 include King’s College London (40th), and the London School of Economics (50th).

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