The RCA is World’s Top University for Art & Design for the Fourth Year

The Royal College of Art has again been named the world’s leading university of art and design in the prestigious QS World University Subject Rankings 2018.

The RCA leads the league table of 200 of the world’s top programmes for the study of art and design, ranking ahead of Parsons The New School for Design, Rhode Island School of Design, MIT and Stanford.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the RCA has taken the top spot, and consolidates its position as the world’s most influential university of art and design.

Dr Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor of the Royal College of Art, said: 'It’s fantastic news that we are, for the fourth year running, recognised as the world’s top university for art and design, and credit must go to the incredible staff and students that we have here and the outstanding opportunities provided through the programmes, research and partnerships with industry. The QS Subject Rankings represent a resounding endorsement of British higher education, with Cambridge, Oxford, UCL Institute of Education, Sussex, Sheffield and Loughborough joining the RCA at the top tier of world-ranked universities.'

The QS World University Subject Rankings assesses the best international universities based on assessment areas that evaluate academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. The rankings are designed to help prospective students to identify the world’s leading schools in their chosen field.

The QS World University Subject Rankings website explains further:  'Each of the subject rankings is compiled using four sources. The first two of these are QS’s global surveys of academics and employers, which are used to assess institutions’ international reputation in each subject. The second two indicators assess research impact, based on research citations per paper and H-index [measuring both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scholar] in the relevant subject. These are sourced from Elsevier’s Scopus database, the world’s most comprehensive research citations database.' 

The endorsement comes just weeks after the College received planning consent for the new Battersea South campus, with its flagship building designed by renowned international architects Herzog & de Meuron, and supported by government investment of £54 million.

The new state-of-the-art facilities in Battersea will provide space for teaching, research and business incubation, enabling the RCA to expand, positioning itself at the leading edge of the STEAM agenda, placing critical value on the catalysing power of the creative arts (A) alongside science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

In 2014 the RCA was recognised as the highest ranked specialist art and design university in the UK, in the UK-wide REF (Research Excellence Framework).