University League Table Guide
In the UK, the three main UK university league, or ranking tables are published by the Complete University Guide, the Guardian and The Times and Sunday Times.
Other national rankings in the English-speaking world include Maclean’s University Rankings (Canada), US News National University Rankings, America’s Top Colleges List – Forbes (both USA) and The Good Universities Guide (Australia).
Additionally, there are three major global university rankings: QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
The Complete University Guide was launched online in 2007 by Mayfield Consultants in partnership with Constable & Robinson.
- Read more about the history of Mayfield University Consultants and its university league table publishing
The 2020 University League Tables comprise a national table of 131 institutions, 70 subject tables and an Arts, Drama & Music table made up of 12 specialist colleges and conservatoires.
The Guardian University Guide and League Tables (compiled by Intelligent Metrix) are available online and free to access.
Prior to 2007, The Times tables were compiled by Mayfield University Consultants, the instigators of the Complete University Guide. The tables are now compiled by Exeter Enterprises, a subsidiary of the University of Exeter. Similarities remain in both these sets of tables, although with each year that passes there is greater divergence within their methodologies.
The guide book published by The Times and the Sunday Times has always carried a price tag and this has been joined by a paywall on their newspaper sites; their online university ranking tables can now only be viewed in their entirety on payment of a fee.
Measures used in the UK University League Tables
|Complete University Guide||The Guardian||The Times and Sunday Times|
|Research Assessment (Quality)||✓||✓|
|Research Assessment (Intensity)||✓|
|Academic Services Spend||✓||✓||✓|
|Value Added Score||✓||✓|
|Total measures used||10||9||9|
* The Complete University Guide and The Times both use student satisfaction data from the National Student Survey (NSS), however The Times separates this into two measures, Teaching Quality and Student Experience.
To find out about the different international university rankings, go to our dedicated page or visit the websites directly:
- Academic Ranking of World Universities
- Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings
- QS World University Rankings
Australia, Canada and the United States of America all have national university rankings. You can find out about these rankings by going to their websites: