When ever we discuss the term ‘the best’ universities, it could well mean different things to different students. You may think about where a university sits in the University League Tables, which ranks a school by its academic performance. Or you may take look at the QS Top University Rankings, which shows a list of the best schools globally.
But have you given thoughts to aspects such as the student experience, and the suitability of a university for a student’s personal needs?
London is an impressive city for world class universities. Needless to say, the 2015 Times Higher Education rankings – a well curated survey carried out by thousands of students placed this beautiful city right at the top of the list of the world’s top cities for excellent universities.
The UK capital houses no more than six of the world’s top 100 tertiary institutions. This survey took participating students through different aspects of their university life/experience:
- The overall quality of the teaching staff and lecturers
- The quality of the university facilities
- The quality of the sports facilities
- Whether the uni does well In connecting students with jobs
- Whether the uni has a great community atmosphere
- The availability of affordable shops/bars/ social amenities
That said, in taking the academic performance, rankings and the student life into consideration, find below is a list of the top universities in London.
1. Imperial College, London
This institution consistently features in the past few years, and now sits at number 2 globally (in the QS Worldwide League Table) and at number 6 (in the UK University League Table). In terms of student experience, it did really well (Times Higher Education rankings), sits at position 30, with consistently great scores for other aspects.
located in the beautiful region of South Kensington, which is close to some of London’s famous museums and Hyde Park, Imperial College runs one of the largest medical faculties in the UK, a coveted business school, in addition to being famous for science and technology. Their student population is international, with a quarter of all students coming from outside the UK.
2. University College, London (UCL)
This institution is ranked number 5 globally (QS), at position 9 (UK), and at 56 (Times HE), UCL always appears in the top positions for London universities.
One big advantage of attending this uni is that it provides degree courses for a huge variety of courses. Again, the location is, once again, excellent – sitting close to Oxford Street and the fun area of Soho. UCL continues to welcome a large number of international students.
3. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
LSE might only sit at number 71 position (QS) in the worldwide ratings, but it is number 3 (UK) and ranks 101 for student life (Times HE). Moreover, this uni is coveted the world around for its impressive study opportunities in key courses such as accounting, politics, law and sociology.
It is also located close to Trafalgar Square and the West End, little wonder that this is yet another institution that appeals to many students from around the world.
4. Kings College London
Occupying number 16 in the world (QS) and 28 (UK), Kings College is another favorite destination for international students. Student satisfaction (Times HE) saw it achieve position 82 in 2015, and the institution houses around 26,000 at any one time.
You’ll find a good selection of programs , including medical, the arts and sciences. Although their campuses aren’t close to each other , they are all located centrally in the heart of London , with four of them sitting next to the popular River Thames.
5. Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL)
This university was number 98 in the 2015 world rankings (QS) and 36 in the leagues (UK), and Mary has maintained its number 86 position from last year per student satisfaction (Times HE). Coveted for various courses, including medicine, social sciences and humanities, the uni is renowed within the UK and overseas.
It also has a great location, close to the recently regenerated East End of London, an area known for being home to fantastic cultures from around the world and authentic world dishes.
6. School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
You may have thought that SOAS is a strange one to this ‘top 7’ list. Well, it sits at 331 (QS) globally, number 35 (UK) and 78 (Times HE), but this is an instition that, thanks to its unique academic offers, really has earned its place in this list.
The institution does education in the cultures, societies and languages of minority groups:Africa, Asia and the Near and Middle East. Thus making it the only university in the UK to offer such courses.
As expected,a good number of students come from overseas – actually it’s over 50% of them. SOAS is based in Bloomsbury, a quiet area of London with close proximity to the British Library.
7. City University, London
Established in 1894 (then known at the Northampton Institute), City University sits at 341 in the world (QS) and at number 40 in the UK.
The institution focuses on business, arts, social sciences, health, engineering and law courses. The Chancellor of City University is of course the Lord Mayor of London. The university has strong ties with the financial centre of the UK capital – also known as The City. Along with having fantastic connections with the major financial and other multinational companies in the area, the uni also has a great deal of activities to maintain this amazing relationship. Some of these include students participating in the Lord Mayor’s Show and graduation ceremonies at Guildhall.