Cambridge beats Oxford to come top of university league table

The elite institution was ranked number one by the Complete University Guide for the fourth year running

The annual clash of the academic titans has seen Cambridge University named the top higher educational institution in the UK.

Beating Oxford University, with an overall score of 1,000 to the former’s 993, the elite establishment retained its number one spot in the Complete University Guide’s (CUG) 2015 rankings for the fourth year running.

Cambridge consistently ranked higher than its rival across all categories.

Founded in 1209, the university has produced 89 Nobel Prize winners and notable alumni include Charles Darwin, Stephen Fry, Clair Balding and Lily Cole.

The London School of Economics took third place with 957 points, with St Andrews and Durham completing the top five with scores of 941 and 930 respectively. 

Rounding out this year's top 10 were Imperial College London, Warwick, Bath, University College London and Exeter.

The CUG uses available data to rank 123 universities on nine areas - student satisfaction, research, entry standards, student to staff ratios, spending in academic services, spending facilities, the numbers of good honours degrees achieved, graduate prospects and completion rates.

The authors said that at many universities, student to staff ratios had improved this year due to institutions taking on more staff and falling student numbers, while more money is also being spent on student facilities and there has been a rise in entry standards.

David Jobbins, a spokesman for the Guide, said there had been a 6.4% year-on-year fall in undergraduate numbers in 2012/13 according to their analysis.

“It is that fall in some institutions and programme areas, coupled with the opportunity taken by some institutions, of which the University for the Creative Arts and the Arts University Bournemouth are good examples, to reclassify technical staff as academic staff, thus improving the student: staff ratio,” he said.

The biggest climbers in this year's table were the University for the Creative Arts which has moved up 24 places to 62nd, Abertay in Dundee which has risen 20 places to joint 91st, the Arts University, Bournemouth, up 18 to 57th, Derby, up 16 to joint 87th and Manchester Metropolitan, up 15 places to joint 73rd.

Cardiff University rose 12 places to number 23, in joint position with Leeds University, which went up nine places.

But Imperial College dropped from fourth to sixth place and University College London fell from seventh to ninth place.

Glasgow and Huddersfield both drooped seven places to 30 and 70 respectively.

And ten universities fell at least 10 places. These were: Royal Agricultural University, down 32 places, Aberystwyth, down 17, Birmingham City, down 16, St George's, University of London, down 12, Hull, Northampton, Buckinghamshire New University and Anglia Ruskin, all down 11 places and Bedfordshire and Ulster, down 10.

Principal author Dr Bernard Kingston said: "Many of the changes this year are attributable to changes in definitions and weighting.

"There was an official and fundamental review of the staff record data between the two years, while the old distinction between graduate and non-graduate employment has been replaced by one between professional and non-professional employment."

He added that the rankings give would-be students ”an accurate and independent guide to the UK university system“.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Arts and Entertainment
books
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
people
Voices
Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
voicesA defection that shows who has the most to fear from the rise of Ukip
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Life and Style
Brave step: A live collection from Alexander McQueen whose internet show crashed because of high demand
fashionAs the collections start, Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Graduate C#.NET Developer (TDD, ASP.NET, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Graduate C#.NET Developer (TDD, ASP.NET, SQL) Su...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, Finance, MSc, PhD)

£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, F...

Year 3 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Teacher Required We are curr...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution