RCA named best art and design university in the world for the fifth year in a row

27 February 2019

Ottilie Landmark: Sinéad O’Dwyer, courtesy of the Royal College of Art

The Royal College of Art has topped the QS World University Subject Rankings in the art and design category for the fifth consecutive year, with University of the Arts London climbing four spots to second place. Glasgow School of Art also figures in the top ten list (at number eight), jumping up eight places from 2018’s table.

Published annually, the QS University Rankings rate more than 1200 international universities across 48 subjects based on academic reputation, employer reputation and the quality and impact of its research. More than 8,000 academics and 40,000 businesses were surveyed for this year’s results.

The Royal College of Art’s success comes just a month after it revealed a five-year plan to bring a “radical new vision” to the London-based school. The GenerationRCA scheme will entail 16,000sqm of new studios and labs at its Battersea campus (in a new building designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron), the redevelopment of some of its Kensington site, the introduction of new cutting-edge courses that mix scientific and creative disciplines (such as machine learning and soft robotics), and more scholarships for gifted students from diverse backgrounds.

RCA and UAL came in top of 200 universities in the art and design category, with UK institutions topping 13 of the 48 subject areas covered in the study. This is only second to the US, which hosts the top universities in 28 subjects.

The top ten art and design universities include:

Royal College of Art
University of the Arts London
Parsons School of Design at The New School
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Politecnico di Milano
Aalto University
The Glasgow School of Art
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
Pratt Institute

Read the complete list here.

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About the Author

Laura Snoad

Laura is a London-based arts journalist who has been working for It’s Nice That on a freelance basis since 2016.

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