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5 Charts: University of Waterloo vs. London’s Top Tech Schools

Five charts that compare the University of Waterloo's tech credentials to London's top tech schools, including Imperial College London and UCL.

This week we’re heading across the pond to compare the University of Waterloo—Canada’s most innovative university—with the top universities in London, England.

You’ve read all about how UWaterloo has firmly held their ground in our previous head-to-heads with top tech universities across the United States including the best that Boston and California has to offer, too.

With all the recent international accolades that UWaterloo has received, it only makes sense for us to run the numbers and take our competition global.

In this friendly showdown, we’re putting UWaterloo up against the best that London has to offer, according to the QS Global University Rankings. Imperial College London, King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London and University College London—hold on to your fascinators!

Here’s how the University of Waterloo compares to London’s top tech schools:

Round One: Overall Computer Science Ranking

Computer Science Program Rankings

Source: QS University Subject Rankings, 2022

Imperial College London takes the first win but we still see a great finish here for Canada’s #1 university for computer science, earning its place in the international top-25. When you’re comparing the best 1400 computer science programs in the world, those achieving a top-25 ranking are in the top 1.7%— that’s when you need to start exploring what else sets these great institutions apart, which is what we love to do.

Round Two: Computer Science Program Size

Computer Science Program Size

Sources: University of Waterloo, University College London, Queen Mary University of London, King’s College London, Imperial College London, 2022

Quality talent is, of course, crucial to a tech company but there’s more to consider when your company is looking to scale—that’s where quantity enters the ring. UWaterloo casts the universities of London in its ever-growing shadow here, producing just about twice as many computer science graduates than London’s top universities combined.

*Numbers for the London universities are an estimate based on annual admissions.

Round Three: Overall Graduate Employability Ranking

Grad Employability Ranking

Source: QS University Rankings 2022

UWaterloo also takes the win for graduate employability with the #24 spot, proving that it’s not just quantity that they excel in but top-notch quality too. UWaterloo produces exceptional graduates who are already hitting the ground running – many entering the workforce with two years of on-the-job experience, thanks to UWaterloo’s world-class cooperative education program.

Round Four: Research Capabilities

Research Capacity

Source: QS University Rankings, 2022

Talent isn’t just about students – it’s about research experts, too. If your company is going to innovate, locating next to leading researchers is a good start.

When it comes to research, the competition is neck and neck with UWaterloo and Imperial College London producing the highest number of citations—but we’ll give credit where credit is due—they beat us by the slightest of margins. With UWaterloo being named Canada’s most comprehensive research university each year for the last 14 years, that’s a defeat we can accept with grace.

Round Five: International Research Network

International Research Network

Source: QS University Rankings, 2022

The QS University Rankings also looks at the international research network of the various universities included in its data and awards a ranking out of 100. This score is awarded after considering the university’s ability to create lasting and productive research partnerships with other international institutions.

While we earned a respectable score, we can’t argue here. Hats off to our London competitors who win this round for the development of sustainable, international research collaborations.

This was a healthy match where we saw each side bring home some wins. In overall ranking for computer science, UWaterloo is well positioned for a shot to take the lead next year. For program size, they triumphed over the London institutions in leaps and bounds. Imperial College London gained a narrow lead for research production and UWaterloo rounded out the competition with leads in employability and entrepreneurship.

Oh, and before we conclude we *had* intended to include London School of Economics and Political Science, which comes in at #121 on the QS Global University Rankings for computer science, but we couldn’t actually find specific data for their computer science program. Nevertheless, we’ll have you know that UWaterloo beats them on overall computer science ranking and in the international research network ranking—and our computer science student population is undoubtedly bigger, too.

If this was a competition comparing beautiful historical architecture, our friends across the pond would dance around us in circles. Fortunately for us, when you need exceptional, work-ready, innovative talent and lots of it—your answer is much closer to home at UWaterloo.

Learn more about Waterloo – North America’s #1 small tech talent market