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King’s Rises in Reputation Rankings, But Still Lags Behind London Rivals

Original Photo by Photography Lead Emma Carmichael

King’s College London (KCL) has risen by two places to #46 in the world in the 2023 Times Higher Education ‘World Reputation Rankings’.

The ranking is based on invite-only assessments from scholars, who “offer their views on excellence in research and teaching within their disciplines and at institutions with which they are familiar”. Research is weighted twice as much as teaching in the ranking, which Times Higher Education (THE) suggest is due to the superior ability of academics to assess the quality of their institution’s research than its teaching.

This result places King’s at a similar score to the Unites States’ Northwestern University and South Korea’s Seoul National University (SNU).

Both the Teaching and Research scores of KCL did decline compared to the 2022 iteration of the rankings, although the university’s overall position rose as many peer institutions experienced dramatic declines. This has led to 2023 being termed “a challenging year for university reputation management” by THE.

While the increase of University’s reputation ranking is welcome news for its students, King’s still sits behind other London Russell Group institutions on this and another league tables. The London School of Economics (LSE) was placed at #40, University College London (UCL) at #25 and Imperial College London (ICL) at #14, with the only high-placed British institutions being Oxford and Cambridge. The LSE does, however, score worse than KCL for Teaching.

King’s also fell to #40 in the QS World Rankings last summer, substantially worse than its peak ranking of #16 in 2015. The last decade has marked a substantial decline for KCL and LSE on this metric, while UCL and ICL have remained consistently inside the top 10 global institutions. QS uses a more rounded ranking system than the THE Reputation Rankings, including international influence, employment outcomes and sustainability.

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