UCLouvain rises in QS rankings


UCLouvain has moved up 15 places to 180th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2024. It remains the top-ranked French-speaking Belgian university. Its strengths? Research and the employability of its graduates.

UCLouvain has jumped 15 places to 180th position in the QS World University Rankings 2024, while remaining Belgium’s leading French-speaking university. It is in the top 12% of universities worldwide according to QS ranking criteria, which, along with the Times Higher Education (THE) and Shanghai rankings, is one of the most reputed. To be in this top group is quite an achievement, given the ever-increasing number of institutions being assessed.

Since its inclusion in the QS rankings, UCLouvain, despite strong international competition, has always been in the top 200, among universities with much greater teaching and research resources.

Two elements distinguish UCLouvain, according to the QS rankings. Firstly, the employment rate of its graduates, at 89%, proves that UCLouvain’s courses meet the needs of the professional world. In Belgium, the UCLouvain diploma remains an indicator of excellence, with UCLouvain among the top three Belgian universities with the best reputations among employers.

Secondly, the excellence of its research exceeds the world average. The QS ranking highlights UCLouvain’s active participation in international research networks and the number of citations of its researchers, where it also features in the Belgian top three.

For its 2024 edition, the QS rankings evaluated 2,963 higher education institutions in 104 countries, of which 1,499 made it into the rankings. Nine Belgian universities are included. The evaluation criteria are as follows:

  • Research and development (worth 50%). This includes academic reputation (30%), measured by an international survey, and the number of scientific citations (20%), which aims to assess the impact of research within universities.
  • Employability (20%). This is measured by a reputation survey of employers (15%) and the percentage of graduates in employment (5%).
  • Academic supervision (10%). Number of academics in relation to the number of students enrolled. This criterion is unfavourable to Belgian universities, which aim to be accessible to all and whose financial resources cannot be increased.
  • International commitment (15%). Measures the international outlook of universities via their attractiveness to international students and academics (10%) and their participation in international research networks (5%).
  • Sustainable development (5%). Assesses the social and environmental impact of universities.

The full ranking can be found at topuniversities.com.

Recognised commitment to the energy, ecological and social transition

Sustainable development is becoming a key issue for universities. While the QS rankings now includes it in its range of criteria, the Times Higher Education rankings has a specific assessment it calls Impact Rankings. In its latest edition (2023), it gives UCLouvain a score of 87/100, an improvement of 3.5 points compared with the 2022 edition; it places UCLouvain 118th in the world, an improvement of 46 places compared with 2022. UCLouvain is the leading Belgian university.

To evaluate UCLouvain, THE Impact Rankings selected four of the sustainable development objectives defined by the United Nations:

  • Collaboration to achieve its objectives (ODD17: essential to be ranked in this category). UCLouvain achieved a score of 90.3/100 and was ranked 57th in the world, boosted by the publication at the end of 2022 of a report evaluating the commitments already made by the university in this area.
  • Innovation in industry and infrastructure (ODD9), where UCLouvain shines, ranking 35th with 97.5/100.
  • Health and well-being (ODD3).
  • The promotion of decent working conditions and economic growth (ODD8).

More info: timeshighereducation.com/impactrankings.

Published on June 28, 2023