Imperial ranks second in the world in major university ranking

Imperial College London has risen to second place in the world in a major league table, also ranking as the top university in the UK and Europe.

Imperial has risen to 2nd place in the QS World University Rankings, becoming the top-ranked university in the UK and Europe, it was announced today.

QS highlighted Imperial’s world-leading research performance, outstanding employability scores, and exceptional sustainability commitment as some of the reasons why Imperial is in the top two in the world.

“Imperial’s ranking is a testament to the quality and commitment of our entire community.”Professor Hugh BradyPresident of Imperial College London

Imperial’s President, Professor Hugh Brady, 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.”

QS has consistently recognised Imperial as one of the world’s top ten universities. Imperial also placed among the world’s top ten universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2024 and was named University of the Year by the Guardian University Guide 2023.

Imperial also achieved its best-ever results in the UK’s most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise, and a Gold rating in the UK’s Teaching Excellence Framework. In addition, Imperial received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2021, in recognition of the university’s pioneering work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imperial’s Provost, Professor Ian Walmsley, said: “‘It is wonderful that Imperial’s research is recognised by these rankings to be of the highest calibre, among the very best in the world. This is testament to our colleagues’ ability to translate ideas into real impact.

“As an academic community, we are focussed on discovering more about the world, innovating to benefit people everywhere, and educating the next generation of leaders. It is this that drives new understanding and new applications across health, science, engineering and business.

“The high quality of our research and teaching is underpinned and enabled by an environment where staff and students alike are valued and supported. Our commitment to people is at the core of what we do, and result in outcomes such as this.”

Imperial College Union President, Camille Boutrolle, said: “This result will undoubtedly fill our Imperial community with pride. I am thrilled to see our institution recognised for the outstanding quality of its research and educational experience.”

Students working in a group study space at Imperial's Abdus Salam Library.
Students working in a group study space at our Abdus Salam Library.

Ambitious strategy

The new ranking follows the launch of Imperial’s Science for Humanity strategy, which aims to maximise Imperial’s potential as a global force for good, using science to try to understand more of the universe and improve the lives of more people in it.

Building on Imperial’s reputation as a world-leading university for science, technology, engineering, medicine and business (STEMB), the strategy focuses on building and harnessing multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research at unprecedented scale to drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and inclusive economic growth.

The strategy includes three flagship initiatives:

  • The launch of four cross-cutting Schools of Convergence Science which will create research communities in key areas including sustainability, human and artificial intelligence, health, and security sciences.
  • A new Imperial Extended Learning Institute which will help future-proof careers, businesses and communities by providing the advanced skills training and values-driven leadership needed to thrive in a tech-enabled world.
  • The establishment of the Imperial WestTech Corridor – a unique ecosystem of innovation assets across West London that will act as a powerful engine for investment, inclusive economic growth and job creation.

Read our new strategy in full on Imperial’s website.

Sustainable Imperial

The QS Ranking for 2025 also ranks Imperial among the world’s top ten universities for ‘Sustainability’, placing it in sixth position. In Spring 2024, the university announced a set of new sustainability initiatives as part of its ongoing commitment to a sustainable, zero pollution future, including an ambitious plan to achieve a net zero estate by 2040.

Imperial has also announced that it will be among the first universities to adopt a new sustainability initiative to improve research and innovation practices – the Concordat for the Environmental Sustainability of Research and Innovation Practice.