The Institute of Development Studies (IDS), home to the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), has once again been ranked first in the world for Development Studies in partnership with the University of Sussex. This is the eighth consecutive year these venerably Sussex institutions have taken the top spot for the subject area in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024.

IDS Director, Professor Melissa Leach has called it a “testament to our high impact research and unique teaching offer, where students from around the world learn collaboratively from engaged scholars and our global network of research partners at the forefront of international development.”

“As we face an extraordinary time of challenge and change, from climate change to conflict, we will keep working with our staff, students, alumni, and research partners to build the skills and knowledge needed to help create more equitable and sustainable futures,” she added.

The ranking reflects IDS and the University of Sussex’s international reputation for excellence as well as the strength of teaching and research relationships between Sussex, IDS, and partners across the globe.

ICTD researchers have long been involved with delivering IDS’ Masters courses and its excellent opportunities for collaborative learning between researchers and activists at the forefront of international development, as well as delivering and developing the Centre’s own courses and learning material on tax and development.

Participants of ICTD's annual Research on Tax and Development course engage in a discussion. ICTD/2022/Kampala, Uganda
Participants of ICTD’s annual Research on Tax and Development course engage in a discussion. Photo credit: ICTD (2022); Taken in Kampala, Uganda

Amongst them, former ICTD CEO and Senior IDS Fellow Mick Moore, who teaches on taxation in various IDS MA modules including Political Economy Perspectives and Public Financial Management. Professor Moore said, “students look back so fondly on their time at IDS because we cater to their hearts and their heads.”

“Their hearts because our teaching focuses on a world that is much safer and fairer than the one we see today. Their heads because we equip them with the tools to help create that better world. That can include an understanding of tax and public finance,” he added.

IDS Research Fellow and ICTD Teaching co-lead, Dr Max Gallien, for his part, said “while retaining the number one spot in the world ranking for Development Studies is cause for celebration at IDS and Sussex, there are many things that are difficult to capture numerically in rankings. One of them is the deep commitment that I have seen throughout the institute to provide teaching that is both engaged and engaging, that lives up to our fantastic cohorts of students, that speaks to experience from across the globe and many different sectors.”

Max, who teaches on political economy perspectives on development, further said: “We have been trying to take some of that spirit into the ICTD’s annual course on ‘Research on Tax and Development’: it’s emphasis on tailored mentorship and supervision and on bringing together student cohorts with diverse experiences from across the globe are hallmarks of IDS teaching and learning.”

Development Studies teaching and research on the Sussex campus, where IDS is based, is delivered across academic schools at the University including the Schools of Global Studies, Education and Social Work, Media, Arts and Humanities, and the University of Sussex Business School, as well as in partnership with IDS.

The QS World University Rankings by Subject is based on five indicators, including academic and employer reputation, and research citations per paper. Further information on the methodology can be found here.


Featured image: ICTD Research Director Giulia Mascagni presenting during the ICTD’s annual Research on Tax and Development course in Kampala, Uganda.