Cambridge University takes top spot in new league table

Cambridge has taken top spot in a new league table of universities, with the London School of Economics and Political Science beating Oxford to second place.

It is the second year running that Cambridge has topped the annual Complete University Guide.

The table ranks 116 universities on student satisfaction, research, entry standards, student to staff ratio, spend on academic services, spend on facilities, graduate prospects, good honours degrees and completion rates and gives each one an overall ranking.

Cambridge took first place for entry standards, and completion rates, as well as joint first for research, along with Oxford and LSE. It also scored highly on many of the other categories.

Buckingham University, one of the UK’s few private institutions, was first for student satisfaction, while Oxford came first for the proportion of good honours degrees achieved and LSE took top spot for graduate prospects.

University College London had the best student to staff ratio, while Imperial College London was first in terms of spend on academic services, and Hertfordshire University was top for spend on facilities.

Overall, the top 10 universities this year were Cambridge, LSE, Oxford, Imperial College London, Durham, Warwick, St Andrews, University College London, Lancaster and Bath.

At the other end of the scale, Bolton University and the University of East London were bottom.

Dr Bernard Kingston, principal author of the guide, suggested that LSE may have done marginally better than Oxford this year because it has a smaller range of subjects.

“LSE teaches 12 of the subjects looked at. It is in the top 10 of every one of those subjects and is at the top of the table of three of them.

“Oxford teaches 32 of these subjects, it is in the top 10 for 32 of them and is in top place in 12 of them.”

Dr Kingston said that the order at the top of the table should be treated with discretion.

But he added: “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.”

Dr Kingston said that the guide is useful for students choosing a university for several reasons.

“Entry standards, what the Ucas tariff is, is one that’s very important, because they can use the table to look at those universities which they are likely to be able to get into. They can use it as a criterion for pulling together a shortlist on the basis of the A-levels they’re likely to get.

“The other area of the spectrum is graduate destinations and graduate prospects.”

Students are looking to find out how many people at a university got a graduate job after finishing their degree, he added.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “It’s good that there is a growing amount of information about university courses to help inform potential students. However, league tables and guides cannot tell the whole story about universities and courses and positions will vary from one table to the next, based often on small statistical margins.

“Applicants, and those advising them, will want to consider a fuller range of information before they make their final choices.”

Here is the full list of 116 universities and their overall rankings in the 2013 Complete University Guide. In brackets are the rankings for last year.

1. (1) Cambridge

2. (4) The London School of Economics and Political Science

3. (2) Oxford

4. (3) Imperial College London

5. (5) Durham

6. (8) Warwick

= (6) St Andrews

8. (7) University College London

9. (9) Lancaster

10. (10) Bath

11. (11) Bristol

12. (12) York

13. (15) Exeter

14. (20) Loughborough

15. (14) Southampton

16. (13) Edinburgh

17. (21) Glasgow

18. (16) King’s College London

19. (17) Nottingham

20. (23) Leicester

21. (19) Sussex

22. (28) Surrey

23. (24) Newcastle

= (22) Birmingham

25. (31) Queen’s University Belfast

26. (33) Royal Holloway

27. (27) East Anglia

28. (26) Sheffield

29. (29) Manchester

30. (18) School of Oriental and African Studies

31. (30) Liverpool

32. (34) Reading

33. (35) Kent

34. (32) Leeds

=  (25) Aston

36. (37) Cardiff

37. (40) Strathclyde

38. (41) City

39. (39) Essex

40. (38) Heriot Watt

41. (50) Brunel

42. (36) Queen Mary.

43. (43) Dundee

44. (47) Aberdeen

45. (46) Oxford Brookes

46. (44) Keele

47. (48) Hertfordshire

48. (59) University of the Arts, London

49. (54) Swansea

50. (45) Stirling

=  (57) Goldsmiths

52. (51) Robert Gordon

53. (66) Lincoln

54. (60) Northumbria

55. (42) Buckingham

56. (64) Hull

57. (58) Huddersfield

58. (49) Aberystwyth

=  (61) University of the West of England

60. (52) Ulster

61. (63) Bournemouth

62. (55) Nottingham Trent

63. (67) Birmingham City

=  (53) Plymouth

65. (72) Coventry

66. (78) Bangor

67. (56) Chichester

68. (80) Chester

69. (65) Central Lancashire

70. (68) Brighton

71. (73) Bradford

72. (62) Sheffield Hallam

73. (77) Westminster

74. (75) Gloucestershire

75. (85) Bath Spa

76. (70) Winchester

77. (82) Portsmouth

78. (97) Salford

79. (69) Cardiff Metropolitan

80. (81) De Montfort

81. (76) Glasgow Caledonian

82. (103) Bedfordshire

83. (71) Middlesex

84. (87) Queen Margaret

85. (88) Kingston

86. (100) Canterbury Christ Church

87. (93) Manchester Metropolitan

=  (74) Roehampton

89. (91) Sunderland

90. (101) Liverpool John Moores

91. (84) Edinburgh Napier

92. (83) Glamorgan

93. (107) Buckinghamshire New University

94. (96) Leeds Metropolitan

=  (79) University for the Creative Arts

96. (90) Teesside

97. (98) Edge Hill

98. (108) Derby

=  (86) Cumbria

100. (105) Glyndwr

101. (104) Northampton

102. (110) Greenwich

103. (102) York St John

104. (92) Trinity Saint David

105. (89) University of Wales, Newport

106. (109) Anglia Ruskin

107. (106) Worcester

108. (99) Staffordshire

109. (94) West London

=  (113) London South Bank

111. (95) Abertay, Dundee

112. (111) Southampton Solent

113. (112) University of the West of Scotland

114. (116) London Metropolitan

115. (114) East London

116. (115) Bolton

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