QS 2021 ranking: UCLouvain leads again


The latest edition of the QS Ranking by Subject ranks UCLouvain as the leading university in all fields in French-speaking Belgium.

The QS Ranking by Subject has the specificity of ranking the world’s universities, not overall, but by field of study and by subject (discipline). It includes more than 500 universities in five major fields subdivided into 51 subjects. Thus it highlights each university’s areas of excellence.*

The 2021 ranking confirms UCLouvain sets the standard among French-speaking Belgian universities: the university is ranked first in all fields. UCLouvain has held this top position for five years.

At the national level (including Dutch-speaking universities), UCLouvain also scores excellently, occupying second place in four out of five fields (it is third in life sciences and medicine, behind Ghent University). It is worth noting that KULeuven, UCLouvain’s sister university, ranks first in Belgium in all fields.

Internationally, two of UCLouvain’s subject programmes rank in the world’s top 50: theology, divinity and religious history, which has been at the top of the ranking for the past five years, and ‘pharmacy and pharmacology’, a subject that corresponds to one of the strengths of Walloon industry and that has been taken up as a strategic area of innovation by the Walloon Region.

Ten of UCLouvain’s subject programmes rank in the world’s top 100: classical and ancient history; philosophy; computer science and information systems; anatomy and physiology; psychology; geography; development studies; economics and econometrics; motor skills sciences; statistics and operational research. This figure, when considered over the last five years, reflects great stability.

‘For all disciplines,’ emphasises UCLouvain Research Director Prof. Jean-Christophe Renauld, ‘these results are fairly close to those we obtain in the global rankings, since as the leading French-speaking Belgian university we are usually among the 200 best universities in the world.’

* The QS by Subject ranking is based on citation indicators in scientific publications and reputation indicators among academics and employers. It does not take into account indicators used in the global rankings, such as the student supervision rate or the internationalisation rate.

Published on May 19, 2021