London named best university city in the world

The UK capital boasts 15 of the world’s most highly regarded universities, topping Paris, New York, Seoul and Melbourne

Rachael Pells
Education Correspondent
Tuesday 14 February 2017 18:40
The UK capital has consistently been named one of the best cities in terms of student nightlife and academic reputation
The UK capital has consistently been named one of the best cities in terms of student nightlife and academic reputation

London has been named the best university city in the world according to new analysis of global rankings.

Taking into consideration the number of high-ranking institutions across the globe located within each metropolitan area, experts tied London in first place with Los Angeles – each city with four universities that feature within the top 100 league table.

The figures come amid concerns over the effect Brexit might have on the UK’s reputation as a top educator and university research hub.

Latest UCAS figures revealed student applicants from both the UK and EU have fallen dramatically since the referendum vote, with international candidate numbers remaining stagnant.

When broadening the rankings to include all institutions that make the top 500, London surged ahead once again – with 15 of the top ranking universities in the world within its boundaries.

Paris, which holds 12 of the world’s best universities and topped the QS Top University list last year, falls behind London in second place according to the new rankings.

While the UK capital has consistently been named one of the best cities in terms of student nightlife and academic reputation, the findings – based on the Times Higher Education university rankings and published by The Atlantic CityLab – do not take into account affordability or student satisfaction.

Last year’s National Student Survey placed the University of Buckingham and the University of Law – both privately funded – in first place in the UK for having the most students who were satisfied with their course.

And in recent global QS rankings, in which universities are judged by global reputation, the UK fell dramatically, with just 18 British institutions making the top 100 table.

Commenting on the analysis, Phil Baty from Times Higher Education said it was unsurprising that London remained high up in the rankings as city so large in scale.

He said: “Most of the towns named as being top university cities are huge global metropolises, and where you get a high concentration of people, you are bound to get great universities – after all, it's the people within colleges that make them the great institutions that they are.”

However, he noted, when broken down by the number of best universities per capita, Sweden soared ahead – with more than 3.3 top ranking colleges per million people.

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