London's RCA & UAL named top 2 universities in the world for Art & Design - FAD Magazine

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London’s RCA & UAL named top 2 universities in the world for Art & Design

For the 3rd year running, London universities have been named the top 2 in the world for Art and Design by the QS University World Rankings by Subject. Royal College of Art (RCA), a research-intensive postgraduate institution, has taken the top spot with 100% in the Academic field and University of the Arts London (UAL), which offers pre-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate courses, has been named number 2.

‘We are humbled and honoured to be ranked the number 1 Art & Design university for the seventh consecutive year and in one of the most challenging years.’ 

‘I am very pleased to see the excellence of our research and taught programmes recognised, particularly the creation of the new publicly funded Textiles Circularity Centre and Design Ageing Institute. This accolade is testament to the enormous contribution and unparalleled academic excellence of our talented students, faculty, and technical teams.

Our employer reputation has risen, which is gratifying to note at a time when the employability of our graduates is of paramount concern. The views of employers have, we believe, been positively influenced by the RCA’s embrace of new areas of expertise and innovation. This includes areas such as robotics and materials science, and also, by students and Doctoral researchers adapting their practice during the global pandemic.’

Dr Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor Royal College of Art,

Following an extraordinary year, which has seen the sector address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainties of Brexit, this ranking further cements the capital’s reputation as the global leader in creative education.

QS Art & Design rankings are based on academic reputation and employer reputation. The rankings, compiled by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds, provide authoritative comparative analysis on the performance of 14,435 individual university programs, taken by students at 1,452 universities which can be found in 86 locations across the world, across 51 academic disciplines and 5 broad faculty areas.

UAL Creative Computing Institute, photograph by Alys Tomlinson

“London remains a uniquely attractive destination to live, study and work and throughout this challenging period, we have continued to see students from all over the globe choose to study at UAL – in person and remotely. To retain our status, during a year in which we had to reimagine and transform the institution to deliver teaching and expertise digitally, is a credit to our staff and students. Their resilience and ingenuity has demonstrated the enduring value of a creative education at UAL.”

Sir Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor of UAL,

About University of the Arts London

University of the Arts London (UAL) offers an extensive range of courses in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts. Our graduates go on to work in and shape the creative industries worldwide. UAL is ranked second in the world for Art and Design in the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject ®. The University has a world-class reputation and is made up of six equally renowned Colleges and three institutes: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL Creative Computing Institute, UAL Social Design Institute and UAL Decolonising Arts Institute. arts.ac.uk 

About Royal College of Art

The Royal College of Art, the world’s number one university for art and design, provides students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world.

A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate institution based in the heart of London, the RCA is a high performing, radical traditionalist in a fast paced world.

The RCA’s approach is founded on the premise that art, design, creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today’s global challenges.

The College employs around 1000 professionals from around the world – professors, researchers, art and design practitioners, advisers and visiting lecturers – to teach and develop students in 30 academic programmes.

The RCA runs joint courses with Imperial College London and the Victoria & Albert Museum. InnovationRCA, the College’s centre for enterprise, entrepreneurship, incubation and business support, has helped over 50 RCA business ideas become a reality that has led to the creation of over 600 UK jobs.

The GenerationRCA campaign, launched in 2019, propels the College’s radical new academic vision by focusing on three key pillars: ‘Place, Projects and People’. This programme sees the RCA transform its campuses and the ways in which the College teaches, researches and creates. It includes the construction of the Herzog & de Meuron-design flagship building in Battersea and introduction of future programmes centres on nano and soft robotics, computer science and machine learning, materials science and the circular economy. The Battersea campus will house the Rausing Research & Innovation Building, which has been named in recognition of a £15 million donation by the Sigrid Rausing Trust to the GenerationRCA campaign – marking the single largest philanthropic gift in the history of the College.

Alumni include Sir David Adjaye OBE, Christopher Bailey MBE, Sir James Dyson CBE, David Hockney OM CH RA, Tracey Emin CBE, Thomas Heatherwick CBE, Lubaina Himid CBE, Dame Zandra Rhodes DBE, Sir Ridley Scott and Clare Waight Keller. 

Recent award-winning alumni include: the Tyre Collective, an RCA start-up that have developed a solution to combat the growing problem of pollution caused by tyre wear from vehicles; Anabela Chan, whose award-winning jewellery has been worn by stars including Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga; Bianca Saunders, a rising star in the world of men’s fashion who was included on the Forbes’ ‘30 under 20’ 2020 list; the award-winning animator Anna Mantzaris, whose work featured on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dog’s; and RCA start-up IKAWA, inventors of the world’s first digital micro coffee roaster that sells in over 70 countries.




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