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 was 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.”