QS World University Rankings 2020: four UK universities make top ten

Oxford is world's fourth best university, according to new rankings

Oxford University is the highest ranking UK university in the latest QS World University Rankings 2020. This is the Russell Group university’s highest ever ranking since the rankings were launched in 2012.

It joins three other UK universities in the global top ten.

Oxford University takes fourth place in the annual list, coming in behind three US-based providers: the top-ranking Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), followed by Stanford and Harvard in second and third places respectively.

A total of four UK universities occupy top ten positions, with the University of Cambridge at number seven, University College London (UCL) in eighth and Imperial College London at number nine.

Aimed at prospective students, the QS World University Rankings 2020 are compiled by global education consultancy QS Quacquarelli Symonds, and feature 1,368 institutions from 83 locations ranked across 48 subjects, providing a global overview of higher education performance.

The rankings are determined by a range of criteria, such as academic reputation, research impact and number of citations, as well as employer reputation per subject. Responses from over 94,000 academics and 45,000 global employers were used to calculate the results.


Last year’s rankings: 18 UK universities reach QS top 100


The next placed UK providers in the rankings are the University of Edinburgh at number 20, with the University of Manchester at 27.

The QS World University Rankings by Subject also sees 115 programs at 19 London higher education institutions achieve a top 50 position for their subject. This is higher than Boston (69), New York (65), Beijing (59), Seoul (50), Tokyo (46), Los Angeles (43), and Paris (43).

Furthermore, three programs at London’s higher universities ranked number one in their respective disciplines: The Royal College of Art for art and design; University College London’s Institute of Education for education and King’s College London for dentistry. The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has been ranked as the top veterinary school in the UK and Europe, and the world’s number two veterinary school.