British Queen celebrates


Imperial College London has achieved a significant milestone by surpassing the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in a prominent global ranking system.

In the 2025 QS World University Rankings, Imperial ascended from sixth to second place, disrupting the longstanding dominance of Oxbridge institutions.

While Cambridge fell from second to fifth place, Oxford retained its third-place position. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States continued to hold the top spot in these rankings.

Professor Hugh Brady, president of Imperial College London, expressed his pride in the institution's achievement. "Imperial’s ranking is a testament to the quality and commitment of our entire community," he said. "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."

The 2025 rankings highlight a notable shift in the hierarchy of British universities, marking the first time neither Oxford nor Cambridge has been the top UK institution since the QS rankings began two decades ago. In 2014, Imperial and Cambridge were jointly placed in second, but this year, Imperial stands alone in that position for the first time.

According to QS, Imperial's improved standing can be attributed to its exceptional research performance, strong employability scores, and commitment to sustainability. Jessica Turner, QS chief executive, acknowledged the resilience and excellence of the UK's higher education sector despite various challenges. "In the decade since Imperial College London was last crowned the United Kingdom’s leading university, the country’s sector has relentlessly continued to achieve world-leading performances despite the turbulence the country has faced, producing world-leading research and remaining one of the globe’s premier study destinations," Turner noted.

However, Turner also cautioned about the future, citing funding shortages, declines in student applications, and uncertainty regarding the status of international students as potential limitations to the continued success of British universities. This year, out of the 90 British universities ranked by QS, 20 improved their positions from last year, 52 declined, and 18 remained unchanged.

Four British universities made it into the top 10 of the QS World University Rankings for 2025, with University College London maintaining its position at ninth place. This reshuffling at the top of the rankings underscores the dynamic and competitive nature of global higher education, where institutions must continuously innovate and adapt to maintain their standing.