Cambridge top of league table

Cambridge has beaten Oxford to the top spot in a league table of universities for the first time in four years.

The prestigious institution takes first place in the annual Complete University Guide.

The last time Cambridge topped the table was in 2007.

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

Cambridge came first for research, entry standards and completion rates as well as scoring highly on the others.

Buckingham University, one of the UK's few private institutions, took top spot for student satisfaction, as well as graduate prospects and staff to student ratios.

Nationally, the top 10 universities were Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, the London School of Economics, Durham, St Andrews, University College London, Warwick, Lancaster and Bath.

At the bottom were London Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.

Dr Bernard Kingston, principal author of the guide, said: "The employment market for graduates over the past year or so has been challenging and this is reflected in the rankings.

"Some universities have been able to maintain their domination of so-called graduate jobs, either because of their strong reputation among employers or through the efforts they have made to overcome the effects of the recession."