Heriot-Watt University climbs to its highest position in QS World University Rankings

Heriot-Watt University has climbed to its highest-ever position in the 2022 QS World University Rankings released yesterday.


The University is 270th in the world, representing a 31-place year-on-year rise in the influential annual list that assesses institutional performance. The Rankings also reveal the University is now 33rd in the UK – an improvement of two places last year – and 92nd within Western Europe.

This year’s table is the largest published by QS, with 1,300 institutions featured. Universities from around the world have been assessed according to six different criteria: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty to student ratio, citations per faculty, the ratio of international faculty members and the ratio of international students.

News of Heriot-Watt’s improved position in this year’s rankings come during its bicentennial year making a double celebration for the University, which has campuses in the UK, Malaysia and Dubai.

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor for Heriot-Watt University, said the achievement is a testament to the resilience and determination of everyone at the university over the last 12-months. He adds: “Our latest position in the 2022 QS World University Rankings reflect the marked growth in the influence and impact of our specialist research, our unique global education model and our effective partnership working with employers and industry. Our diverse outlook and unique global footprint are, and continue to be, a source of tremendous strength for this University.”

It has been a difficult period for the Higher Education sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic with financial pressures and travel restrictions just some of the challenges faced by institutions.

Despite this, the Heriot-Watt community has come together and in April, welcomed the opening of a new state-of-the-art campus in Dubai marking 16-years as a leading higher education provider in the region. This work and more has seen the University expand its global influence whilst continuing its cutting edge research to find solutions to global problems.

Heriot-Watt has adapted to a new way of working across its global campuses to minimise disruption while continuing to produce high-quality research.

Commenting on the latest QS World University Rankings, Professor Ammar Kaka, Provost and Vice-Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai said, “We are delighted to hear that we have risen 31 places to secure the 270th rank amongst the world’s best Universities. Several metrics have been taken into account for this, one of them is our contribution to the international research network. Dubai campus in particular has undertaken much work in the area of global construction and multi-disciplinary research – for example, our Centre for Excellence in Smart Construction is a global hub for innovation, industry-led research and solutions development, we have contributed greatly to sustainability and zero carbon research and more. We believe this is one of the important factors that has been responsible for the great leap in our rankings this year. Quacquarelli Symonds rankings are very popular in the global higher education sector, and many organisations refer to these, so these results are a great honour for us.”

“Through our commitment to deliver the finest learning and teaching experience for our students and by developing links with international business and enterprise, our global research continues to go from strength to strength, focussing on major global challenges. Our international research across our campuses is recognised  in areas such as robotics, smart construction, marine and earth sciences and our leadership in industrial decarbonisation and green logistics.”

The QS World University Rankings were revealed on the same day as the Complete University Guide League Table was published. In this, Heriot-Watt ranked 23rd out of 130 UK institutions, which is the University’s highest ever position. In addition, it was placed 4th out of 14 Scottish Institutions, marking a further rise on last year.

A full breakdown of this year’s QS World University rankings and the Complete University Guide League Table can be found here: