Cambridge tops of UK league but Oxford loses 2nd place – 2013 Complete University Guide
The University of Cambridge retains its first place in The Complete University Guide to the UK’s 116 universities, which is published today. But Oxford drops to third, narrowly beaten by the London School of Economics and Political Science.
In separate listings for the leading universities and higher education institutions covering 62 subjects, Cambridge takes top place in 30 of the 46 it offers, and in the top ten for 46. The LSE is in the top ten for all twelve of the subjects offered and is top for three. Oxford is in the leading 10 universities for all 32 of its subjects, and is placed first in 12.
There are two new entrants to the Top 20 – the University of Glasgow (17th) and Leicester (19th); they replace Sussex, which just missed out in 21st place, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, which fell from 15th to 30th position.
Oxford Brookes University, in 45th place, is the highest ranking 'new' university (former polytechnic). One of the strongest climbers is the University of Bedfordshire, up 21 places to 82nd.
Dr Bernard Kingston, principal author of The Guide, said: "League tables carry a health warning for good reason and the order at the top of the ranking should be treated with some discretion.
"What is beyond dispute is that all three institutions – Cambridge, the London School of Economics and Oxford – are outstanding in their fields. The LSE’s range of disciplines is less broad than Oxford’s, and it has a better record for graduate prospects."
Nationally the top ten universities are Cambridge, LSE, Oxford, Imperial College London, Durham, Warwick, St Andrews, University College London, Lancaster and Bath.
The impact of the economic downturn on graduate employment prospects continues to be reflected in many of the changes in relative position in the table. The proportion of UK-domiciled first degree graduates going on to graduate-level employment or further study appears to be stabilising after a steady fall over the past few years, from 68.7% in the 2010 tables, to 63.9% last year and 63.7% in the current tables. This has resulted in major falls for some universities, while others have had some success in bucking the trend by devoting extra resources to employability.
Dr Kingston said: "The employment market for graduates remains challenging and this is reflected in the rankings. Some universities have been more successful than others in adapting to the new conditions."
A key feature is the steady rise in entry standards, from 314.9 in the 2010 guide to 324.4 last year and 336.7 in the current tables.
Nova Jayne Robinson, Director of The Complete University Guide, said: "Once again, The Complete University Guide is first to give university applicants reliable and comprehensive information on which to base one of the most important choices of their lives."
Data for the rankings have been derived from official sources and have been meticulously checked with the universities themselves to create an independent and authoritative league table designed to match applicants’ needs.
Dr Kingston said: "The Complete University Guide allows would-be students to adapt the main table to their needs and explore the listings for individual subjects without charge and with confidence that the information is up to date and accurate."
Users of its web site can construct league tables tailored to their own needs and freely review Green League Table data, more detailed university profiles with visitor reviews, details of bursaries and scholarships, career profiles, and a section on fees and finance.
The on-line Guide is a partnership between publishers Constable & Robinson and Mayfield University Consultants.
- Bernard Kingston: Tel: +44 (0) 114 2305759 or email email@example.com
- David Jobbins: Tel +44 (0) 7770 452047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nova Jane Robinson at Constable & Robinson: Tel: +44 (0) 7775 652294 or email email@example.com
Notes for Editors
- Mayfield University Consultants has compiled university league tables for more than 15 years. Since 2007, these have appeared on line, enabling users to tailor the tables for their personal use by choosing the criteria that are directly important to them.
- The main table is based on nine measures: Student Satisfaction, Research Assessment, Entry Standards, Student:Staff Ratio; Spending on Academic Services; Spending on Student Facilities; Good Honours degrees achieved; Graduate Prospects and Completion. The Subject tables are based on four: Student Satisfaction, Research Assessment; Entry Standards and Graduate Prospects.
- University League Tables should be seen in the overall context of choosing the course and university best suited to an individual’s needs. Users can search the Guide for the best-performing universities across 62 academic subjects, and will also find details of graduate employment rates and starting salaries. They will also have access to detailed profiles of each university, what bursaries and scholarships they offer, and profiles of towns and cities with two or more universities.