The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) is one of the world’s top three destinations to study the performing arts, according to new global rankings.

The Glasgow-based institution, whose alumni include James McAvoy, David Tennant and Daniela Nardini, is ranked number three in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Performing Arts.

The Juilliard School in New York City tops the list while the Royal College of Music in London is placed second.

Other institutions in the top 10 include the Conservatoire de Paris, University of the Arts Helsinki and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

David Tennant
David Tennant attended the institution in Glasgow (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

It is the fifth time since the ranking was established in 2016 that the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has been placed in the top 10, which looks at academic standing, research performance and graduate employability as metrics of institutional performance.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “It is especially gratifying to achieve this recognition at a time of great challenge to the arts in a global pandemic.

The Northern Ballet company
Ballet is among the performing arts taught at the Conservatoire (Danny Lawson/PA)

“It is a tribute to the entire RCS community of students and staff who continue to show such creativity and determination to keep the arts flourishing and developing.

“This exciting news demonstrates that our wider community places faith and trust in our conservatoire to be a place where the arts will continue to tell our shared stories and help rebuild our bonds of society.”

Established in 1847, the RCS offers specialist tuition across music, drama, dance, production, film and education at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD levels – one of the only institutions in Europe to teach such a wide variety of performing arts on one campus.

It also teaches children, young people and adults through the Junior Conservatoire, short courses departments and national Fair Access programmes.

Nick Kuenssberg, RCS chairman, said: “Many congratulations to Principal Jeffrey Sharkey and all his staff, teaching and professional, at Scotland’s national conservatoire for this wonderful achievement, the more so because this has been an immensely challenging year for the performing arts.

“This recognition reinforces the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s continuing reputation as an international centre of excellence for performing arts education.”