League tables of British universities

League tables of British universities

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Encyclopedia
Rankings of universities in the United Kingdom are published annually by The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

, The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

, The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times is a British Sunday newspaper.The Sunday Times may also refer to:*The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times...

and The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

. The primary aim of the rankings is to inform potential applicants about UK universities based on a range of criteria, including entry standards, student satisfaction, staff/student ratio, academic services and facilities expenditure per student, research quality, proportion of Firsts and 2:1s, completion rates and student destinations. All of the league tables also rank universities on their strength in individual subjects.

Rankings


Several national organizations (arranged alphabetically here) provide UK rankings, including the following:

The Complete University Guide


The Complete University Guide is an independently published ranking produced in association with The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

from 2008 to 2011. It was formerly known as The Good University Guide and was published for the first time in The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

in 2007. The rankings are compiled by Mayfield University Consultants, who previously compiled university rankings for The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

.

The ranking uses nine criteria and a statistical technique called the Z-transformation is applied to each to create a total score for that criteria. The Z-scores for each criterion are then weighted by 1.5 for student satisfaction and research assessment and 1.0 for the rest and summed to give a total score for each university. Finally, these total scores are transformed to a scale where the top score is set at 1,000 with the remainder being a proportion of the top score.
  • Student satisfaction - measure of the view of students of the teaching quality at the university (data source: the National Student Survey
    National student survey
    The National Student Survey is a survey, launched in 2005, of all final year degree students at institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

    )
  • Research assessment/quality – measure of the average quality of the research undertaken in the university (data source: 2008 Research Assessment Exercise
    Research Assessment Exercise
    The Research Assessment Exercise is an exercise undertaken approximately every 5 years on behalf of the four UK higher education funding councils to evaluate the quality of research undertaken by British higher education institutions...

    )
  • Entry standards - the average UCAS
    UCAS
    The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service is the British admission service for students applying to university and college. UCAS is primarily funded by students who pay a fee when they apply and a capitation fee from universities for each student they accept..-Location:UCAS is based near...

     tariff score of new students under the age of 21 (data source: HESA
    HESA
    HESA may refer to:* Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, an Iranian aircraft manufacturer* Higher Education South Africa, an association of universities in South Africa...

    )
  • Student:staff ratio - measure of the average staffing level in the university (data source: HESA
    HESA
    HESA may refer to:* Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, an Iranian aircraft manufacturer* Higher Education South Africa, an association of universities in South Africa...

    )
  • Academic Services spend - the expenditure per student on all academic services (data source: HESA
    HESA
    HESA may refer to:* Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, an Iranian aircraft manufacturer* Higher Education South Africa, an association of universities in South Africa...

    )
  • Facilities spend - the expenditure per student on staff and student facilities (data source: HESA
    HESA
    HESA may refer to:* Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, an Iranian aircraft manufacturer* Higher Education South Africa, an association of universities in South Africa...

    )
  • Good honours - proportion of firsts and upper seconds (data source: HESA
    HESA
    HESA may refer to:* Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, an Iranian aircraft manufacturer* Higher Education South Africa, an association of universities in South Africa...

    )
  • Graduate prospects - measure of the employability of a university's graduates (data source: HESA
    HESA
    HESA may refer to:* Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, an Iranian aircraft manufacturer* Higher Education South Africa, an association of universities in South Africa...

    )
  • Completion – measure of the completion rate of those studying at the university (data source: HESA
    HESA
    HESA may refer to:* Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, an Iranian aircraft manufacturer* Higher Education South Africa, an association of universities in South Africa...

     performances indicators)


The most recent league table (2012) ranked the top 30 British universities as follows:
RANK (1-10)UNIVERSITYRANK (11-20)UNIVERSITY RANK (21-30)UNIVERSITY
1 University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

11 University of Bristol
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a public research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. One of the so-called "red brick" universities, it received its Royal Charter in 1909, although its predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876.The University is...

21 University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Located in Glasgow, the university was founded in 1451 and is presently one of seventeen British higher education institutions ranked amongst the top 100 of the...

2 University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

12 University of York
University of York
The University of York , is an academic institution located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the campus university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, covering a wide range of subjects...

 
22 University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Birmingham, England. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Birmingham Medical School and Mason Science College . Birmingham was the first Redbrick university to gain a charter and thus...

3 Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

13 University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

23 University of Leicester
University of Leicester
The University of Leicester is a research-led university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is a mile south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College....

4 London School of Economics  14 University of Southampton
University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is a British public university located in the city of Southampton, England, a member of the Russell Group. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed...

24 Newcastle University
5 Durham University
Durham University
The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

15 University of Exeter
University of Exeter
The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....

25 Aston University
Aston University
Aston University is a "plate glass" campus university situated at Gosta Green, in the city centre of Birmingham, England.Established in 1895 as the Birmingham Municipal Technical School, Aston was granted its Royal Charter as Aston University on 22 April 1966...

6 University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

16 King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

26 University of Sheffield
University of Sheffield
The University of Sheffield is a research university based in the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. It is one of the original 'red brick' universities and is a member of the Russell Group of leading research intensive universities...

7 University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

17 University of Nottingham
University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham, United Kingdom, with further campuses in Ningbo, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

27 University of East Anglia
University of East Anglia
The University of East Anglia is a public research university based in Norwich, United Kingdom. It was established in 1963, and is a founder-member of the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities.-History:...

8 University of Warwick
University of Warwick
The University of Warwick is a public research university located in Coventry, United Kingdom...

18 SOAS
School of Oriental and African Studies
The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...

 
28 University of Surrey
University of Surrey
The University of Surrey is a university located within the county town of Guildford, Surrey in the South East of England. It received its charter on 9 September 1966, and was previously situated near Battersea Park in south-west London. The institution was known as Battersea College of Technology...

9 University of Lancaster =19 Loughborough University
Loughborough University
Loughborough University is a research based campus university located in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England...

29 University of Manchester
University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is a public research university located in Manchester, United Kingdom. It is a "red brick" university and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities and the N8 Group...

10 University of Bath
University of Bath
The University of Bath is a campus university located in Bath, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1966....

=19 University of Sussex
University of Sussex
The University of Sussex is an English public research university situated next to the East Sussex village of Falmer, within the city of Brighton and Hove. The University received its Royal Charter in August 1961....

30 University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool
The University of Liverpool is a teaching and research university in the city of Liverpool, England. It is a member of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities and the N8 Group for research collaboration. Founded in 1881 , it is also one of the six original "red brick" civic...


The Guardian


The Guardian's ranking uses six different criteria, each weighted between 5 and 17 per cent. Unlike other rankings the criteria do not include a measure of research output. A controversial "value-added" factor is included which compares students' degree results with their entry qualifications: "Based upon a sophisticated indexing methodology that tracks students from enrolment to graduation, qualifications upon entry are compared with the award that a student receives at the end of their studies”.
  • Overall quality - NSS results when final-year students were asked about the overall quality of their course.
  • Teaching quality - as rated by graduates of the course (10%) (data source: the National Student Survey
    National student survey
    The National Student Survey is a survey, launched in 2005, of all final year degree students at institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

    )
  • Feedback - as rated by graduates of the course (5%)
  • Spending per student (17%)
  • Staff/student ratio (17%)
  • Job prospects (17%) (data source: DLHE
    Destination of Leavers from Higher Education
    The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey or DLHE is a statistical survey conducted by the United Kingdom's Higher Education Statistics Agency...

    )
  • Value added (17%)
  • Entry score (17%)


The most recent league table (2012) ranked the top 30 British universities as follows:
RANK (1-10)UNIVERSITYRANK (11-20)UNIVERSITY RANK (21-30)UNIVERSITY
1 University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

=11 University of Exeter
University of Exeter
The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....

21 University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Located in Glasgow, the university was founded in 1451 and is presently one of seventeen British higher education institutions ranked amongst the top 100 of the...

2 University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

=11 University of Sussex
University of Sussex
The University of Sussex is an English public research university situated next to the East Sussex village of Falmer, within the city of Brighton and Hove. The University received its Royal Charter in August 1961....

22 City University
3 University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

13 SOAS
School of Oriental and African Studies
The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...

 
23 University of Kent
University of Kent
The University of Kent, previously the University of Kent at Canterbury, is a public research university based in Kent, United Kingdom...

4 London School of Economics 14 University of Bath
University of Bath
The University of Bath is a campus university located in Bath, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1966....

 
24 University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Birmingham, England. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Birmingham Medical School and Mason Science College . Birmingham was the first Redbrick university to gain a charter and thus...

5 University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

15 University of York
University of York
The University of York , is an academic institution located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the campus university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, covering a wide range of subjects...

25 University of Bristol
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a public research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. One of the so-called "red brick" universities, it received its Royal Charter in 1909, although its predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876.The University is...

6 University of Warwick
University of Warwick
The University of Warwick is a public research university located in Coventry, United Kingdom...

16 University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

 
26 University of Dundee
University of Dundee
The University of Dundee is a university based in the city and Royal burgh of Dundee on eastern coast of the central Lowlands of Scotland and with a small number of institutions elsewhere....

7 University of Lancaster 17 University of Leicester
University of Leicester
The University of Leicester is a research-led university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is a mile south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College....

 
27 Heriot-Watt University
Heriot-Watt University
Heriot-Watt University is a university based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The name commemorates George Heriot, the 16th century financier to King James, and James Watt, the great 18th century inventor and engineer....

8 Durham University
Durham University
The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

18 University of East Anglia
University of East Anglia
The University of East Anglia is a public research university based in Norwich, United Kingdom. It was established in 1963, and is a founder-member of the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities.-History:...

 
28 University of Southampton
University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is a British public university located in the city of Southampton, England, a member of the Russell Group. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed...

9 Loughborough University
Loughborough University
Loughborough University is a research based campus university located in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England...

=19 University of Nottingham
University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham, United Kingdom, with further campuses in Ningbo, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

 
29 University of Strathclyde
University of Strathclyde
The University of Strathclyde , Glasgow, Scotland, is Glasgow's second university by age, founded in 1796, and receiving its Royal Charter in 1964 as the UK's first technological university...

10 Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

=19 University of Surrey
University of Surrey
The University of Surrey is a university located within the county town of Guildford, Surrey in the South East of England. It received its charter on 9 September 1966, and was previously situated near Battersea Park in south-west London. The institution was known as Battersea College of Technology...

30 King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...


The Sunday Times


The Sunday Times university league table ranks institutions using eight criteria:
  • Student satisfaction (+50 to -55 points) - The results of national student surveys (NSS) are scored taking a theoretical minimum and maximum score of 50% and 90% respectively (data source: the National Student Survey
    National student survey
    The National Student Survey is a survey, launched in 2005, of all final year degree students at institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

    )
  • Teaching excellence (250) - Excellence is defined as: subjects scoring at least 22/24 points, those ranked excellent, or those undertaken more recently in which there is confidence in academic standards and in which teaching and learning, student progression and learning resources have all been ranked commendable (data source: Quality Assurance Agency; Scottish Higher Education Funding Council; Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
    Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
    The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales is an Assembly Government Sponsored Body, and anintermediary body between the Welsh Assembly Government and the higher education sector in Wales.- HEFCW business :...

    )
  • Heads’/peer assessments (100) - Heads are asked to identify the highest-quality undergraduate provision (data source: The Sunday Times heads’ survey and peer assessment)
  • Research quality (200) - Based upon the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (data source: Higher Education Funding Council for England
    Higher Education Funding Council for England
    The Higher Education Funding Council for England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the United Kingdom, which has been responsible for the distribution of funding to Universities and Colleges of Higher and Further Education in England since...

     (Hefce))
  • A-level/Higher points (250) - Nationally audited data for the susbsequent academic year are used for league table calculations (data source: Higher Education Statistics Agency
    Higher Education Statistics Agency
    The Higher Education Statistics Agency is the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education in the United Kingdom....

    )
  • Unemployment (100) - The number of students assume to be unemployed six months after graduation is calculated as a percentage of the total number of known destinations (data source: HESA
    HESA
    HESA may refer to:* Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, an Iranian aircraft manufacturer* Higher Education South Africa, an association of universities in South Africa...

    , Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education)
  • Firsts/2:1s awarded (100) - The percentage of students who graduate with firsts or 2:1 degrees. Unclassified degrees are excluded (data source: HESA
    HESA
    HESA may refer to:* Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, an Iranian aircraft manufacturer* Higher Education South Africa, an association of universities in South Africa...

    )
  • Dropout rate (+57 to -74 points) - The number of students who drop out before completing their courses is compared with the number expected to do so (the benchmark figure shown in brackets) (data source: Hefce, Performance Indicators in Higher Education.


The most recent league table (2012) ranked the top 30 British universities as follows:
RANK (1-10)UNIVERSITYRANK (11-20)UNIVERSITY RANK (21-30)UNIVERSITY
1 University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

11 Loughborough University
Loughborough University
Loughborough University is a research based campus university located in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England...

21 University of Surrey
University of Surrey
The University of Surrey is a university located within the county town of Guildford, Surrey in the South East of England. It received its charter on 9 September 1966, and was previously situated near Battersea Park in south-west London. The institution was known as Battersea College of Technology...

2 University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

12 Newcastle University 22 University of Southampton
University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is a British public university located in the city of Southampton, England, a member of the Russell Group. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed...

3 Durham University
Durham University
The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

13 University of Sheffield
University of Sheffield
The University of Sheffield is a research university based in the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. It is one of the original 'red brick' universities and is a member of the Russell Group of leading research intensive universities...

23 Queen Mary, University of London
Queen Mary, University of London
Queen Mary, University of London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

4 London School of Economics 14 Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

24 University of Leeds
University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...

5 University of Bath
University of Bath
The University of Bath is a campus university located in Bath, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1966....

=15 University of Nottingham
University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham, United Kingdom, with further campuses in Ningbo, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

25 University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Birmingham, England. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Birmingham Medical School and Mason Science College . Birmingham was the first Redbrick university to gain a charter and thus...

6 University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

=15 University of York
University of York
The University of York , is an academic institution located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the campus university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, covering a wide range of subjects...

26 Cardiff University
Cardiff University
Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...

7 University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

17 King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

27 University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

8 University of Warwick
University of Warwick
The University of Warwick is a public research university located in Coventry, United Kingdom...

18 Lancaster University
Lancaster University
Lancaster University, officially The University of Lancaster, is a leading research-intensive British university in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. The university was established by Royal Charter in 1964 and initially based in St Leonard's Gate until moving to a purpose-built 300 acre campus at...

28 University of Leicester
University of Leicester
The University of Leicester is a research-led university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is a mile south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College....

9 University of Exeter
University of Exeter
The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....

19 University of Sussex
University of Sussex
The University of Sussex is an English public research university situated next to the East Sussex village of Falmer, within the city of Brighton and Hove. The University received its Royal Charter in August 1961....

29 University of East Anglia
University of East Anglia
The University of East Anglia is a public research university based in Norwich, United Kingdom. It was established in 1963, and is a founder-member of the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities.-History:...

10 University of Bristol
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a public research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. One of the so-called "red brick" universities, it received its Royal Charter in 1909, although its predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876.The University is...

20 University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Located in Glasgow, the university was founded in 1451 and is presently one of seventeen British higher education institutions ranked amongst the top 100 of the...

30 University of Reading
University of Reading
The University of Reading is a university in the English town of Reading, Berkshire. The University was established in 1892 as University College, Reading and received its Royal Charter in 1926. It is based on several campuses in, and around, the town of Reading.The University has a long tradition...


The Times


The Times university rankings take into account eight criteria. The Student Satisfaction and Research criteria are weighted by 1.5 and then each of the eight criteria scores are multiplied by 10 in order to give a score out of 1000 for each university.
  • Student Satisfaction (data source: the National Student Survey
    National student survey
    The National Student Survey is a survey, launched in 2005, of all final year degree students at institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

     2005)
  • Research (data source: 2008 Research Assessment Exercise
    Research Assessment Exercise
    The Research Assessment Exercise is an exercise undertaken approximately every 5 years on behalf of the four UK higher education funding councils to evaluate the quality of research undertaken by British higher education institutions...

    )
  • Entry Standards - Average UCAS
    UCAS
    The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service is the British admission service for students applying to university and college. UCAS is primarily funded by students who pay a fee when they apply and a capitation fee from universities for each student they accept..-Location:UCAS is based near...

     tariff score (data source: Higher Education Statistics Agency)
  • The student-staff ratio (data source: Higher Education Statistics Agency
    Higher Education Statistics Agency
    The Higher Education Statistics Agency is the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education in the United Kingdom....

    )
  • Library and Computing spending - Average expenditure per student (data source: Higher Education Statistics Agency
    Higher Education Statistics Agency
    The Higher Education Statistics Agency is the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education in the United Kingdom....

    )
  • Facilities spending - Average expenditure per student on sports, careers services, health and counselling
  • Good Honours - Percentage of students graduating with a good degree
    British undergraduate degree classification
    The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom...

    , 'good' being defined as a first or 2.1
  • Graduate prospects – Percentage of UK graduates in graduate employment or further study (data source: HESA's survey of Destination of Leavers from Higher Education
    Destination of Leavers from Higher Education
    The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey or DLHE is a statistical survey conducted by the United Kingdom's Higher Education Statistics Agency...

     (DLHE))
  • Completion - Percentage of students who manage to complete their degree


The most recent league table (2012) ranked the top 30 British universities as follows:
RANK (1-10)UNIVERSITYRANK (11-20)UNIVERSITY RANK (21-30)UNIVERSITY
1 University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

11 University of York
University of York
The University of York , is an academic institution located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the campus university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, covering a wide range of subjects...

21 University of Buckingham
University of Buckingham
The University of Buckingham is an independent, non-sectarian, research and teaching university located in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England, on the banks of the River Great Ouse. It was originally founded as Buckingham University College in the 1970s and received its Royal Charter from the...

2 University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

12 University of Bath
University of Bath
The University of Bath is a campus university located in Bath, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1966....

22 University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Located in Glasgow, the university was founded in 1451 and is presently one of seventeen British higher education institutions ranked amongst the top 100 of the...

3 London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

13 University of Bristol
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a public research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. One of the so-called "red brick" universities, it received its Royal Charter in 1909, although its predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876.The University is...

23 SOAS
School of Oriental and African Studies
The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...

4 Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

 
14 University of Sussex
University of Sussex
The University of Sussex is an English public research university situated next to the East Sussex village of Falmer, within the city of Brighton and Hove. The University received its Royal Charter in August 1961....

24 King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

5 University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

15 University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

25 Newcastle University
6 Durham University
Durham University
The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

16 University of Nottingham
University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham, United Kingdom, with further campuses in Ningbo, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

26 University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Birmingham, England. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Birmingham Medical School and Mason Science College . Birmingham was the first Redbrick university to gain a charter and thus...

6 University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

17 University of Sheffield
University of Sheffield
The University of Sheffield is a research university based in the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. It is one of the original 'red brick' universities and is a member of the Russell Group of leading research intensive universities...

27 University of East Anglia
University of East Anglia
The University of East Anglia is a public research university based in Norwich, United Kingdom. It was established in 1963, and is a founder-member of the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities.-History:...

8 University of Warwick
University of Warwick
The University of Warwick is a public research university located in Coventry, United Kingdom...

17 University of Leicester
University of Leicester
The University of Leicester is a research-led university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is a mile south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College....

28 Royal Holloway, University of London
Royal Holloway, University of London
Royal Holloway, University of London is a constituent college of the University of London. The college has three faculties, 18 academic departments, and about 8,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students from over 130 different countries...

9 University of Lancaster 19 University of Southampton
University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is a British public university located in the city of Southampton, England, a member of the Russell Group. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed...

29 University of Surrey
University of Surrey
The University of Surrey is a university located within the county town of Guildford, Surrey in the South East of England. It received its charter on 9 September 1966, and was previously situated near Battersea Park in south-west London. The institution was known as Battersea College of Technology...

10 University of Exeter
University of Exeter
The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....

20 Loughborough University
Loughborough University
Loughborough University is a research based campus university located in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England...

 
30 University of Leeds
University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...


Disparity with global rankings


It has been commented by The Sunday Times that a number of universities which regularly feature in the top ten of British university league tables, such as Durham
Durham University
The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

, St Andrews
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

, SOAS
School of Oriental and African Studies
The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...

 and LSE
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

, "inhabit surprisingly low ranks in the worldwide tables", whilst other universities such as Manchester
University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is a public research university located in Manchester, United Kingdom. It is a "red brick" university and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities and the N8 Group...

 and Birmingham
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Birmingham, England. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Birmingham Medical School and Mason Science College . Birmingham was the first Redbrick university to gain a charter and thus...

, "that failed to do well in the domestic rankings have shone much brighter on the international stage". A further example is that Scottish Universities such as Dundee and Aberdeen feature highly in international league rankings, often outranking many English institutions, but fail to rank as highly in domestic tables. The considerable disparity in rankings has been attributed to the different methodology and purpose of global university rankings such as the Academic Ranking of World Universities
Academic Ranking of World Universities
The Academic Ranking of World Universities , commonly known as the Shanghai ranking, is a publication that was founded and compiled by the Shanghai Jiaotong University to rank universities globally. The rankings have been conducted since 2003 and updated annually...

, QS World University Rankings
QS World University Rankings
The QS World University Rankings is a ranking of the world’s top 500 universities by Quacquarelli Symonds using a method that has published annually since 2004....

 and Times Higher Education World University Rankings
Times Higher Education World University Rankings
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an international ranking of universities published by the British magazine Times Higher Education in partnership with Thomson Reuters, which provided citation database information...

. International university rankings primarily use criteria such as academic and employer surveys, the number of citations per faculty, the proportion of international staff and students and faculty and alumni prize winners. The national rankings, on the other hand, give most weighting to the undergraduate student experience, taking account of teaching quality and learning resources, together with the academic quality of a university’s intake, graduate employment, research quality and dropout rates.

Accuracy and neutrality


There has been criticism of attempts to combine different rankings on for example research quality, quality of teaching, drop out rates and student satisfaction. Sir Alan Wilson, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds
University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...

 argues that the final average has little significance and is like trying to ‘combine apples and oranges.’ Other criticisms he made included the varying weights given to different factors, the need for universities to 'chase' the rankings, the often fluctuating nature of a university's ranking, and the catch-22 that the government's desire to increase access can have negative effects on league table rankings.

The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

suggests that league tables may affect the nature of undergraduate admissions in an attempt to improve a university's league table position.

Roger Brown, the former Vice Chancellor of Southampton Solent University
Southampton Solent University
Southampton Solent University is a university of 17,000 students based in Southampton, United Kingdom. Its main campus is located on East Park Terrace near the city centre....

 argues the limitations of comparative data when comparing Universities.

The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

league table has a peculiar habit of ranking quite highly courses given by departments that have recently closed down. For example mathematics at Bangor which closed in 2006 was rated fifth in the UK in the "2008" league table, Hull also did reasonably well considering it too no longer had a mathematics department or degree. The Guardian later published a correction.

Professor Geoffrey Alderman writing in the Guardian makes the point that by including the percentage of 'good honours' this can encourage grade inflation
Grade inflation
Grade inflation is the tendency of academic grades for work of comparable quality to increase over time.It is frequently discussed in relation to U.S. education, and to GCSEs and A levels in England and Wales...

 so that league table position can be maintained.

The rankings are also criticised for not giving a full picture of higher education in the United Kingdom. There are institutions which focus on research and enjoy a prestigious reputation but are not shown in the table for various reasons. For example, the Institute of Education
Institute of Education
The Institute of Education is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom specialised in postgraduate study and research in the field of education and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It is the largest education research body in the United Kingdom, with...

, University of London, is not usually listed in the undergraduate rankings despite the fact that it offers an undergraduate B.Ed and is generally recognised as one of the best institutions offering teacher training and Education studies (for example, being given joint first place, alongside Oxford University, in the 2008 Research Assessment 'Education' subject rankings, according to both Times Higher Education and the Guardian).

Full-time bias


League Tables, which usually focus on the full-time undergraduate student experience, commonly omit reference to Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck, University of London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It offers many Master's and Bachelor's degree programmes that can be studied either part-time or full-time, though nearly all teaching is...

, and the Open University
Open University
The Open University is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom...

, both of which specialise in teaching part-time students at the undergraduate level. These universities, however, often make a strong showing in specialist league tables looking at research, teaching quality, and student satisfaction. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise
Research Assessment Exercise
The Research Assessment Exercise is an exercise undertaken approximately every 5 years on behalf of the four UK higher education funding councils to evaluate the quality of research undertaken by British higher education institutions...

, according to the Times Higher Education, Birkbeck
Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck, University of London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It offers many Master's and Bachelor's degree programmes that can be studied either part-time or full-time, though nearly all teaching is...

 was placed equal 33rd, and the Open University
Open University
The Open University is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom...

 43rd, out of 132 institutions. And the 2009 student satisfaction survey placed the Open University
Open University
The Open University is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom...

 3rd and Birkbeck
Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck, University of London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It offers many Master's and Bachelor's degree programmes that can be studied either part-time or full-time, though nearly all teaching is...

13th out of 153 universities and higher education institutions (1st and 6th, respectively, among multi-faculty universities).

External links