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Cambridge remains second best university globally

The 2024 QS World University Rankings are out, and Cambridge has retained its top three spot!


The 2024 QS World University Rankings were released yesterday (27/06), and Cambridge has been ranked as the best university in the United Kingdom, and second best in the world. This ranking represents no change from Cambridge’s second place in the 2023 rankings last year.

Perhaps more importantly, Cambridge has narrowly beaten Oxford University, which placed third globally. Taking the top spot for the 12th year in a row is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Imperial College London and University College London (UCL) were the only other two UK universities to be ranked in the top ten, ranking sixth and ninth, respectively. No other UK universities were ranked in the top 20.

Universities are given ranks out of 100 on a range of criteria. These scores are then combined to calculate an overall score, on which rankings are based. Cambridge was 0.8 points behind MIT, who scored 100. Oxford was only 0.3 points behind Cambridge, with an average score of 98.9.

Cambridge achieved perfect 100 scores on a number of criteria, including academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-student ratio, international faculty ratio, and employment outcomes. Its lowest score was a 92.3 on citations per faculty.

This year’s rankings are the first that have included metrics based on sustainability, employment outcomes, and international research network. Cambridge scored 97.3, 100, and 99.9 respectively on these new metrics.

In a statement, Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr Anthony Freeling said “[i]t is a source of enormous pride” to see Cambridge retain its second-place ranking. He went on to say “[t]his is a reflection of the hard work by colleagues across the university, ensuring that Cambridge continues to deliver world-leading research and education.”

In a nod to Imperial and UCL’s top ten rankings, Freeling said “[i]t’s also very gratifying to see four UK institutions in the top ten list – a testimony to the strength of the UK’s higher education sector”