UCL moves up to fourth in Times world university rankings, launches joint programme with Yale

07 Oct 2009 | Network Updates | Update from University College London
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

University College London (UCL) has climbed to 4th place in the annual Times Higher Education–QS World University Rankings, its highest position ever, placing it second among UK universities behind Cambridge.

Malcolm Grant, UCL President and Provost, said, “League tables can never measure all a university’s qualities. They capture a few key aspects of a complex organism. Yet we are pleased by UCL’s spectacular progression up the tables in recent years, because it does reflect the truly outstanding quality of UCL’s community of academics, and of our students from around the world.

“UCL is a remarkable place. It has an edginess to it, a spirit of restless energy, and its traditions are of radical change and innovation. It continues to pursue the highest standards of academic rigour, while responding rapidly and flexibly to the world in which it operates.”

“We believe that the world’s leading universities not only have the ability to address the major challenges facing the globe in the twenty-first century, but also the duty to do so, even though this requires new intellectual approaches, new partnerships and new models of internal organisation.

“One aspect of this is our role as London’s global university. For example, we are launching today a major new partnership with Yale. We have agreed to combine forces to tackle some of the world’s major challenges, focusing initially on developing 14 defined programmes within medicine and healthcare. This is a unique trans-Atlantic venture between two of the world’s leading institutions. It is devoted entirely to bringing about improvements in human welfare.”

Phil Baty, deputy editor of Times Higher Education magazine and editor of the World University Rankings, said, “[UCL] has earned admiration in the higher education world for its eye-catching strategy to pool its research expertise across a wide range of disciplines, in order to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems – climate change, global health, intercultural interaction. But academics in other universities will be jealous, in particular, of UCL’s moves to give its researchers the freedom to think, by hiring special research coordinators who can relieve academics from some of the more stifling bureaucratic burdens of modern academic life.”


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