MIT named world's top university for architecture

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MIT named world's top university for architecture

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the world's best university for architecture, according to new global rankings.

Although London's Royal College of Art was named the best overall art and design school in the QS Worldwide University RankingsMIT was singled out for its performance in architecture, where it ranked in first place.

The institute scored 96.5 points for architecture in the QS system, which measures institutions on their reputation among academics and employers, the number of international students and staff, the ratio of faculty members to students, and the number of citations referencing work by each universities in research papers published within the last year.

MIT's School of Architecture and Planning is best known for its innovative approach to combining media, technology with urban design and research.

Its departments include the Media Laboratory founded in 1980, which focuses on interfaces between the physical and digital worlds, and the Senseable City Lab that carries out research projects on the future of urban living in response to digital technologies. The Lab is led by architect Carlo Ratti, who has just unveiled a digital supermarket at the Milan Expo 2015.

Former MIT faculty members have included Alvar Aalto, Buckminster Fuller, Louis Khan and Kenzo Tange.

Architecture schools ranked

In the list of the world's top 100 architecture schools, the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL in London came in second, followed by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the University of California, Berkley and Harvard University.

While the list of top 10 design schools was dominated by UK and US institutions, the architecture rankings were more evenly spread.

The National Univsity of Singapore was in sixth place, followed by ETH Zurich, Tsinghua University in Beijing, the University of Cambridge and the University of Tokyo.

"Three Asian universities – Singapore's National University of Singapore, China's Tsinghua University and Japan's University of Tokyo – are ranked within the global top 10 for architecture," said QS. "A further 20 Asian institutions feature in the top 100."

"The US has a total of 14 universities ranked among the world's top 50 for architecture, and a further eight ranked within the top 100," said a statement on QS's website. "A total of 32 European institutions are ranked among the world's top 100 for architecture, with 11 of these based in the UK," it added.

QS has been publishing international university rankings for 10 years, and issues the full results as interactive tables on its website.

"Many types of user read our rankings, from education ministers to schoolteachers," said QS, in an overview about trends in university performance. "But our main aim is to provide information that potentially mobile students will find compelling."

"Since 2004, the number of people studying outside their home country has nearly doubled, and we know that rankings are a prime source of information for these ambitious people."