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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.

Find out about the different rankings:
Complete University Guide • The Guardian • The Times/Sunday Times
International Rankings • Other rankings in the English-speaking world

Complete University Guide

The Complete University Guide was launched online in 2007 by Mayfield Consultants in partnership with Constable & Robinson. 

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

The Guardian University Guide and League Tables (compiled by Intelligent Metrix) are available online and free to access.

The Times/Sunday Times

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
Entry Standards  ✓
Student Satisfaction  ✓
Research Assessment (Quality)  ✓  
Research Assessment (Intensity)  ✓    
Student-Staff Ratio  ✓
Academic Services Spend  ✓
Facilities Spend  ✓  
Good Honours  ✓  
Degree Completion  ✓  
Graduate Prospects  ✓
Value Added Score  
Continuation    
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.

International Rankings

To find out about the different international university rankings, go to our dedicated page or visit the websites directly:

Other rankings in the English-speaking world

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: