The Royal College of Music (RCM) has been ranked as the world’s leading institution for performing arts, according to new global rankings.

The London conservatoire, which was established in 1883, was named number one in the 2022 QS World University Rankings by subject.

This is the first time it has taken the top spot, overtaking The Juilliard School in New York which has held the position since 2016, when this categorisation was first introduced.

For the past six years, the London college has been ranked top in the UK and also in Europe for four of those years.

The RCM was established under a royal charter, with the Prince of Wales currently acting as president of the conservatoire.

Notable alumni of the institution include classical composers Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, as well as musical theatre star Alfie Boe and theatre boss Lord (Andrew) Lloyd-Webber.

Director of the Royal College of Music, Professor Colin Lawson, said:

“I am enormously proud of the entire RCM community.

“To be ranked as the global number one institution for performing arts reflects the dedicated work by the teaching staff, professors and professional services staff, all of whom work tirelessly to ensure that RCM students receive the best possible opportunities in an environment that closely mirrors the professional world.

“This result is testament to our ongoing commitment to our talented students who choose to study at this world-leading institution.”

Vienna’s University of Music and Performing Arts came second in the global rankings, while The Juilliard School took third and Conservatoire de Paris came fourth.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) was the next highest placed UK institution coming fifth in the world.

The QS rankings aim to measure the “strength and quality of teaching, the quality and output of research activity, employability and the RCM’s international profile”.

Rankings are compiled from the opinions of academics and employers and from analysis of research output and impact.

Photo: Royal College of Music. Photographer: Uli Harder.

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