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

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

We’re heading across the pond to compare the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) —named one of of Canada’s most innovative university 30 times —with the top universities in London, England.

Having gone head-to-head with top tech universities across the United States including the best that Boston and New York have to offer, it’s time to see how we matchup with schools beyond North America.

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 UWaterloo compares to London’s top tech schools:

Round One: Overall Computer Science Ranking

London VS Waterloo CS Ranking

*Source: QS University Subject Rankings, University Ranking by Subject: Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 2024

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

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.

With Waterloo’s unmatched ecosystem, talent, research assets and location, the region has become the largest robotics and automation cluster in Canada, propelling it as a leader in global tech.

Round Three: Overall Graduate 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

Source: QS University Rankings, 2024

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 16 years, that’s a defeat we can accept with grace.

Round Five: International Research Network

London International Research Network

*Source: QS University Subject Rankings, University Ranking by Subject: Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 2024

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.

The Decision: University of Waterloo Stands Amongst The Best

In overall ranking, UWaterloo is well-positioned and is able to compete against the best. For program size, they triumphed over the London institutions while showcasing the impact of having world-renowned co-op programs can have on student success. Imperial College London gained a narrow lead for research production and UWaterloo rounded out the competition with leads in employability and entrepreneurship.

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