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The Royal College of Art Named World’s Leading University of Art and Design for Third Year

The Royal College of Art has again been named the world’s leading university of Art and Design in the 2017 QS World University Subject Rankings, beating top-ranking global universities including MIT, Stanford, Yale and Rhode Island School of Design to the top spot for the third consecutive year.

The premier ranking confirms the RCA’s position as the world’s leading university of art and design. In the UK, the College is recognised as being at the forefront of innovation, supporting more successful start-ups than Imperial College and Oxbridge combined, and with 45% of our graduates starting their own creative industry and design businesses.

The endorsement comes as the College celebrates the 180th anniversary of its foundation. Established to bring world-class design to British manufacturing, we are a leading voice in addressing this challenge today. Products designed by RCA graduates are all around us, from the Routemaster bus to the Dyson vacuum cleaner. From the original NHS bed to modern end-of-life care, RCA research remains at the centre of pioneering, user-centred design to improve people’s lives.

Building on this legacy, and supported by exceptional funding from UK Treasury, the College is embarking on an ambitious programme of development for its London campus. This includes the construction of a new building at Battersea – designed by Herzog & de Meuron and scheduled to open in 2020 – and the opening of a new hub for communication, architecture, humanities and their integrated practices in London’s newest research and creative quarter in White City, in autumn 2017.

Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Art, said: 'We are delighted to take the global top spot once again as the number one university for Art and Design. The RCA is highly selective, taking only the most world's talented artists and designers, who then go on to transform the world – in design, fine art, fashion and engineering. Our investment in future students – by providing new research centres and programmes in robotics, wearable technology and digital design – will mean we continue to attract the best students from around the world.'

The QS World University Rankings assesses the best international universities based on three assessment areas: academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. The rankings are based on the opinions of academics and employers.

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).

This year, the RCA became the highest-ranking educational establishment in the Dezeen Hot List, based on Dezeen's audience data taken from their 2 million international readers.