The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Highest ever ranking for the University of Manchester

The University of Manchester has been ranked 29th in the QS World University Rankings, despite uncertainties around Brexit causing most UK universities to drop in the league table


The University of Manchester has come 29th in this year’s QS World University Rankings, four places higher than 2015. The University is now ranked 7th in the UK. This is the highest the university has ever achieved in the leasing university league table.

QS world rankings are based on over 100,000 survey responses from employers and academics. The university is ranked 15th by employers and comes 31st in international reputation.

This news follows the universities success in the ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’, or the ‘Shanghai Jiao Tong’ league table,  where Manchester also reached a new high, coming 35th in the world and 5th in the UK.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell said: “This ranking, alongside the recent Shanghai rankings, shows that Manchester is on an upward trajectory. Our placing demonstrates the high esteem in which the University is held by academics all around the world and our high ranking among employers is testament to the calibre of our graduates.”

The universities rise in the rankings was not following the trend seen across the UK. The UK on the whole saw a fall in rankings this year, with 38 of the UK’s 48 top 400 universities dropping down. The surveys were conducted in the run up to the EU referendum, many linking the uncertainty that this created being a factor in the decline.

The University of Cambridge dropped out of the top three universities in the world to its lowest place since the rankings were launched in 2004. Cambridge remains as the highest ranked in the UK, but has fallen to fourth place.

Ben Sowter, head of research at QS, argued that uncertainty over immigration and long-term funding issues could have been the cause of this drop in the UK’s performance.

He argues that “the ability to hire and retain the top young talent from around the world seems to be damaging the reputation of the UK’s higher education sector”.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been ranked the best in the world for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Stanford University and then Harvard.

QS World University Rankings: Britain’s top ten

University of Cambridge – 4 (-1)
University of Oxford – 6
University College London – 7
Imperial College London – 9 (-1)
University of Edinburgh – 19 (+2)
King’s College London – 21 (-2)
University of Manchester – 29 (+4)
London School of Economics and Political Science – 37 (-2)
University of Bristol – 41 (-4)
University of Warwick – 51 (-3)