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QS World University Rankings 2024 Unveiled: Key Trends and Insights

The new edition of the QS World University Rankings is published today, based on an independent comparative analysis of more than 16,400 individual university courses. These courses come from over 1,500 universities in 95 countries and regions across 55 subjects, divided into five categories (arts and humanities, engineering and technology, life sciences and medicine, natural sciences, and social sciences and management). The results show that US universities are leading in 32 subject areas, twice as many as the UK, leading in 16. Harvard University is the strongest-performing university, leading in 19 subjects. It is followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which leads in 11.

Top 100 Universities in the World 2024

Data from QS website

2024 RANK2023 RANKInstitution NameLocation
11Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)United States
22University of CambridgeUnited Kingdom
34University of OxfordUnited Kingdom
45Harvard UniversityUnited States
53Stanford UniversityUnited States
66=Imperial College LondonUnited Kingdom
79ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologySwitzerland
811National University of Singapore (NUS)Singapore
98UCLUnited Kingdom
1027University of California, Berkeley (UCB)United States
1110University of ChicagoUnited States
1213University of PennsylvaniaUnited States
1320Cornell UniversityUnited States
1433The University of MelbourneAustralia
156=California Institute of Technology (Caltech)United States
1618Yale UniversityUnited States
=1712Peking UniversityChina (Mainland)
=1716=Princeton UniversityUnited States
=1945The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)Australia
=1941The University of SydneyAustralia
2134=University of TorontoCanada
2215The University of EdinburghUnited Kingdom
2322Columbia UniversityUnited States
2426Université PSLFrance
2514Tsinghua UniversityChina (Mainland)
=2619Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)Singapore
=2621The University of Hong KongHong Kong, China
2824Johns Hopkins UniversityUnited States
2823The University of TokyoJapan
2944University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)United States
3031McGill UniversityCanada
3228The University of ManchesterUnited Kingdom
3325University of Michigan-Ann ArborUnited States
=3430The Australian National UniversityAustralia
=3447University of British ColumbiaCanada
3749Technical University of MunichGermany
=3848Institut Polytechnique de ParisFrance
=3839New York University (NYU)United States
4037King’s College LondonUnited Kingdom
4129Seoul National UniversitySouth Korea
4257Monash UniversityAustralia
4350=The University of QueenslandAustralia
=4442=Zhejiang UniversityChina (Mainland)
4556The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)United Kingdom
4636Kyoto UniversityJapan
=4761=Delft University of TechnologyNetherlands
=4732Northwestern UniversityUnited States
=4738The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)Hong Kong, China
5034=Fudan UniversityChina (Mainland)
5146Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityChina (Mainland)
5252Carnegie Mellon UniversityUnited States
5358University of AmsterdamNetherlands
5459Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenGermany
5561=University of BristolUnited Kingdom
5642=KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science & TechnologySouth Korea
5750=Duke UniversityUnited States
5872University of Texas at AustinUnited States
5960Sorbonne UniversityFrance
6040The Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong Kong, China
6176KU LeuvenBelgium
6253University of California, San Diego (UCSD)United States
6380University of WashingtonUnited States
6485University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUnited States
=6565=The Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong Kong, China
=6570Universiti Malaya (UM)Malaysia
6764The University of WarwickUnited Kingdom
6887The University of AucklandNew Zealand
6977National Taiwan University (NTU)Taiwan, China
7054City University of Hong KongHong Kong, China
7169Université Paris-SaclayFrance
7290The University of Western AustraliaAustralia
=7363Brown UniversityUnited States
=7389KTH Royal Institute of TechnologySweden
7586University of LeedsUnited Kingdom
=7681University of GlasgowUnited Kingdom
=7673Yonsei UniversitySouth Korea
7892Durham UniversityUnited Kingdom
7974Korea UniversitySouth Korea
8068Osaka UniversityJapan
=8198Trinity College Dublin, The University of DublinIreland
=8178University of SouthamptonUnited Kingdom
8393Pennsylvania State UniversityUnited States
8491University of BirminghamUnited Kingdom
=8595Lund UniversitySweden
=85115Universidade de São PauloBrazil
=8775Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityRussia
=8765=Ruprecht-Karls-Universität HeidelbergGermany
89109The University of AdelaideAustralia
90137University of Technology SydneyAustralia
=9155Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech)Japan
=9183=University of ZurichSwitzerland
=93108Boston UniversityUnited States
=93104=Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)Mexico
=9567Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)Argentina
=9596=University of St AndrewsUnited Kingdom
9788Georgia Institute of TechnologyUnited States
98118=Freie Universitaet BerlinGermany
99129=Purdue UniversityUnited States
=10071Pohang University of Science And Technology (POSTECH)South Korea
=100114University of NottinghamUnited Kingdom

What is meant by QS ranking?

the best university ranking in the world

The QS World University Rankings is an annual ranking of universities published by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a British international education market consultancy. QS initially partnered with The Times Higher Education (THE) to produce the THE-QS World University Rankings, first published in 2004. However, since 2010, the two have published rankings separately.

Why is QS ranking reliable?

QS ranking is one of the most influential university rankings in the world, with a long history, outstanding reputation and wide recognition. 

Firstly, QS rankings adopt a complex and comprehensive methodology system, which covers multiple key factors, including academic reputation, employer reputation, teacher-student ratio, etc. Moreover, yearly, new metrics are designed to ensure the rankings’ multi-dimensionality and comprehensiveness. These factors together constitute the basis for evaluating the comprehensive strength of a university, making the ranking results more reference value. 

Secondly, most of the data relied on by the rankings come from universities and survey institutions, which usually have high professionalism and credibility. 

In addition, QS rankings also pay attention to transparency and openness. They publish detailed criteria, data sources, and calculation methods for the rankings, making the results more credible and persuasive.

university world ranking qs

How is QS subject ranking calculated 2024?

Generally, QS rankings are based on 4 categories and 6 indicators, including Research reputation, The learning and teaching environment, Research impact, and Internationalisation of the student experience

Research reputation

This category aims to investigate the reputation of universities among professionals. The opinion weight of the academic reputation survey is around 40%, and that of the employer reputation survey is 10%~15%.

Academic reputation

QS will distribute questionnaires to academic professionals worldwide to ask their perceptions of the research standards within a specific field. Subsequently, QS will analyze and categorize the feedback received from these professionals according to their respective areas of expertise.

Employer Reputation

This factor measures the popularity of graduates in the job market based on a survey of graduate employers around the world. QS asks them what they think of graduates from each university in each subject and their willingness to recruit and arrive at each university’s employer reputation score.

The learning and teaching environment

This category calculates the student-faculty ratio within a university and is used to measure the size and quality of a university’s teaching. It is calculated by dividing the number of students by the number of faculty members. The more academic staff available per student, the more one can assume that an institution has adequately funded and resources for its teaching commitments. A lower student-faculty ratio generally means that students can receive more individual attention and guidance. This indicator is weighted at 10% ~ 20%.

Research impact

This metric reflects the impact and quality of academic research at a university, weighted at 20%. It is measured by calculating the number of citations per faculty member of the university’s research output. High citations generally indicate high originality and impact, all data from Elsevier Scopus.


The two indicators of this category, the proportion of international students and the proportion of international teachers account for 5% each. This category evaluates the internationalization level of a university. A higher proportion helps to improve the global outlook and diversity of a university, as well as helps to enhance students’ cross-cultural communication ability.

In 2023, QS added three new metrics to address broader educational and social trends in addition to the six common indicators.


The 2022 QS International Student Survey found that 80% of students thought universities could do more for the environment, so they added a 5% sustainability perspective to the 2023 ranking factors.

Employment outcomes

QS believes that students’ employability is becoming increasingly important, so in 2023, it will increase the weight of employer reputation to 15% and the weight of employment outcomes to 5%.

International research network

This indicator provides explicit insights into the extent of international linkages in institutional research and the broader recognition of the importance of collaborative research.

These indicators comprehensively reflect the performance of universities in academic research, teaching quality, internationalization level and graduate employability. Therefore, QS rankings not only provide students and parents with a reference for choosing a university but also provide a direction for improvement and development for universities, which plays a vital role in developing and promoting global higher education.

QS ranking of UK universities

top10 uk university in qs ranking 2024

Data from QS website
2024 RANK 2023 RANK Institution Name Location
2 2 University of Cambridge Cambridge
3 4 University of Oxford Oxford
6 6= Imperial College London London
9 8 UCL London
22 15 The University of Edinburgh Edinburgh
32 28 The University of Manchester Manchester
40 37 King’s College London London
45 56 The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) London
55 61= University of Bristol Bristol
67 64 The University of Warwick Coventry
75 86 University of Leeds Leeds
=76 81 University of Glasgow Glasgow
78 92 Durham University Durham
=81 78 University of Southampton Southampton
84 91 University of Birmingham Birmingham
=95 96= University of St Andrews St Andrews
=100 114 University of Nottingham Nottingham

In the QS World University Rankings 2024, 17 of the top 100 universities are from the UK, the same as last year. Cambridge University maintains its lead in the UK, while Oxford University is still ranked second in the UK but has moved up one place in the world rankings. In addition, Durham University has moved up 14 places since last year, reaching the world ranking of 78. Notably, the University of Nottingham has also increased 14 places in 2024, displacing The University of Sheffield into the top 100.

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Most of the time, the QS rankings are the most cited and trusted. The QS rankings are known for their emphasis on academic reputation, research citations, and internationalization.

The QS UK University Rankings is a comprehensive evaluation and ranking of universities in the United Kingdom. This ranking is published by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a British international education market consulting company. The QS ranking covers five major disciplines: arts and humanities, social sciences and management, natural sciences, engineering and technology, life sciences and medicine, and comprehensively evaluates the comprehensive strength of universities according to multiple indicators.

According to the QS World University Rankings 2024, the University of Cambridge (2), University of Oxford (3), Imperial College London (6) and UCL (9) are among the top 10 universities in the world.

According to the QS World University Rankings 2024, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the best university in the world, with 100 points in six QS categories, including Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation and Employment Outcomes.

“QS 5 Star” refers to the highest rating in the QS rating system, which is “5 Star+”. This rating is the result of an objective and comprehensive evaluation of universities worldwide by Quacquarelli Symonds, an independent evaluation agency, according to a series of detailed criteria. These criteria mainly include six dimensions, namely teaching level, research level, internationalization level, employment level, school facilities and innovation ability. 

QS usually evaluates universities based on six items: Academic reputation, Employer Reputation, the learning and teaching environment, Research impact, the proportion of international students, and the proportion of international teachers. In 2023, QS added three new metrics: Sustainability, Employment outcomes, and International research network.

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