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BREAKING: King’s Slips (Again) in QS World Rankings

Bush House by Megan Baker

King’s College London (KCL) has slipped to #40 in the QS World University Ranking, now 24 points lower than at its peak in 2015.

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Ranking is a yearly leader board of the top universities across the globe, separated into global overall rankings and those done by subject. King’s College London (KCL) has typically always sat amongst the top 40, however in the recent 2024 table released 27 June 2023, KCL has been announced as placing #40 – right at the bottom of this prestigious bracket. Since it’s peak at #16 in 2015, King’s has repeatedly declined, with it’s only improvement being a small hop from #33 in 2020 to #31 in 2021. This was followed by a return to the initial trend of a steady decline.

QS World Ranking uses a variety of ranking criteria to come to a decision. This year, KCL ranked highest for ‘International Students Ratio’ at 100 and ‘International Faculty Ratio’ at 98.8, as well as an impressive 99.2 for ‘International Research Network’. However, good is typically always coupled with bad. KCL ranks lowest for ‘Employment Outcomes’ at 34.4 and ‘Citations per Faculty’ at 61.1. Overall, the College received a score of 79.3.

The breakdown behind KCL’s QS World Ranking 2024. Credit: topuniversities.com

This years QS Rankings is the biggest to date – encompassing the data of 1,500 institutions and introducing 3 new measurements for consideration. Sustainability, employability, and international research efforts make up three new factors by which QS ‘grade’ a university. In their 20 years of QS interview, founder and president Nunzio Quacquarelli said, “While we have always tried to remain consistent in our methodology, we must also evolve to reflect the changing missions of universities.”

“We recognise that the global student community we serve understand the significance of the climate crisis and see a real responsibility among universities in supporting the sustainability agenda.”

Whilst KCL performed quite well on the sustainability front – scoring 81.1 – it fell worryingly low in the other new category, graduate employability. For those of us currently enrolled at King’s, graduate employment taking a significant hit is not a promising forecast. Coupled with the ongoing strikes and the potential damage posed to graduations by the ongoing MAB, students are right to feel concerned for the reputation their degree holds in job applications moving forward. However, KCL students and alumni must remember that a decline to #40 is still within the context of 1,500 institutions. ‘Strand Polytechnic’ isn’t quite true just yet.

For more student news to do with the university, click here.

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