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King’s slips two places to 40th in Times Higher Education world ranking

KING’S has slipped from 38th to 40th in the Times Higher Education’s World University Ranking for 2014-2015, released at 9pm this evening.

The Times Higher Education (THE) ranking makes up one of the three major international rankings of universities. King’s had risen in the previous two years in the ranking from 57th in 2012-2013 to 38th in 2013-2014.

THE ranked KCL as the UK’s 7th best university, a place lower than it did in 2013-2014, with Edinburgh rising from 7th to 6th to overtake it.

A spokesperson from King’s told Roar: “While we are disappointed by our small drop in the THE world rankings, we are pleased that our scores in four of the five metrics have improved, along with our scores across all four academic discipline groupings where we are listed.

“However other leading universities have performed even better than us moving them up the rankings, so we recognise there is more work to do.”

There was a mixed performance for other London universities, with both UCL and LSE falling to 22nd and 24th in the world respectively, while Imperial rose from 10th to 9th.

This bucks the trend from KCL’s rise in the other two major international university rankings released this year.

Last August, the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities put KCL up from 67th to the 59th best university in the world, and last month QS pushed King’s up from 19th in the world to 16th.

Breakdown of performance 

Despite the fall in the ranking, King’s can take solace in the fact that its overall score in the THE ranking increased this year from 67.6 to 69.4. This was backed up with KCL seeing its score rise in 4 out of 5 of the metric components THE uses, only seeing its score fall in the teaching component.

The other components assessed include International Outlook, Industry Income, Research and Citations.

In the subject tables also released by THE, King’s has fallen in two, rose in one and not moved three. KCL is now ranked 11th in the world in clinical, pre-clinical and health as compared to 13th last year.

However, it fell in the rankings for Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences and is now ranked 23rd and 27th respectively.

International success, domestic failure

KCL’s success this year in international rankings has been in contrast to their underachievement in domestic rankings.

While the university has risen in all three international rankings, it has also fallen in all three domestic rankings, with the Complete University Guide, The Sunday Times and the Guardian ranking King’s at 28th, 29th and 40th in the country respectively.

The reason for this seems to be KCL’s poor performance in student satisfaction, which is used as a component in domestic but not international rankings of universities.

Whilst The Sunday Times ranked KCL in the top 25 for all their other metric components, they put the university at 106th out of 123 universities in the country for student satisfaction.

Similarly, in the Complete University Guide, KCL have fallen 81 places since 2008 to 111th in the country for student satisfaction, while not ranking outside of the top 40 in the country in 8 out of the other 9 components.

Whilst adopting a different weighting, the Guardian also puts King’s down at 85th out of 116 universities in the country for course satisfaction, 58th for satisfaction with teaching and 108th for satisfaction with feedback.



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