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REVEALED: University of Oxford crowned the Complete University Guide’s best university

The University of Oxford has come top of the class for this year’s annual Complete University Guide rankings, but there have been some significant changes within the league table as new centres of excellence compete for positions of greatness within the Complete University Guide’s league table

Not to be outdone by previous successes the universities of Oxford and Cambridge have fought on to retain their dominance of the performance tables once more.  However, places at the top of the table cannot be taken for granted as newcomers have challenged traditional incumbents to rapidly climb for positions of excellence.   

Major advancers include Norwich University of the Arts rising 30 places, and the University of Surrey rising an impressive 17 places to land a spot in the top 20. St. Andrews maintained the prestige of the highest-ranked university in Scotland, and Cardiff University remains top of the table in Wales. Harper Adams claims the highest new university ranking at 29th.

Every year the Complete University Guide releases UK university and subject league tables to support prospective students in making informed decisions about their future. Regional league tables are also on offer to help people find the right university for them in their area.

This follows on from last month’s Whatuni Student Choice Awards which saw students vote for their favourite university across a range of categories and celebrate the work of universities up and down the country.

Simon Emmett, Chief Executive Officer of IDP Connect, said:

“With more prospective students actively researching their options each year, the 2023 Complete University Guide league tables will serve as an important guide. We believe these rankings help them to make the right decisions as they consider their next steps into higher education.

“The independence of the Complete University Guide remains a critical part of our organisation. The tables’ independence from our other operations ensures that students, parents, and advisors can trust the results and make informed choices based on them.”

Editorial notes

Notes to editors:

  • The team behind thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk has compiled university league tables for more than 25 years. Since 2007, these have been freely available online. The Guide is an autonomous division of IDP Education, global leader in education services and technology, from which, by mutual agreement, it retains its complete editorial independence.

  • thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk attracts over ten million visitors each year.

  • The main league table is based on ten measures: Entry Standards, Student Satisfaction, Research Quality, Research Intensity, Graduate Prospects – outcomes, Graduate Prospects – on track, Student-Staff Ratio, Spending on Academic Services, Spending on Student Facilities, and Completion. It includes 130 institutions.

  • The Arts, Drama & Music League Table, published since 2016, lists 13 specialist institutions offering too small a subject range to appear in the main table.

  • The subject tables are based on five measures (Entry Standards, Student Satisfaction, Research Quality, Graduate Prospects – outcomes and Graduate Prospects – on track) and include 150 universities, university colleges and specialist higher education institutions.

  • All university league tables on thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk can be filtered by region and mission group (Cathedrals Group, GuildHE, MillionPlus Group, Russell Group, University Alliance, as well as unaffiliated universities). Tables from the current and previous years can be downloaded. All tables can also be sorted by any of the measures that comprise them.

  • Some links within this release may not work until 06:00 BST on 14 June 2022 as they’ll be hidden until the publication of the League Tables.

  • Criteria for inclusion in the main university league table or the subject tables can be seen on our website.

Press & media contacts

For more information contact:

  • Jonah Duffin, Director of External Relations - jonah.duffin@idp.com

  • Bethan Clark, Cathod Du Media Agency - bethan@cathoddu.com

See who's top of the 2023 league table

Visit the Complete University Guide website to find out who are the winners and losers of this year's league tables.

Explore the 2023 rankings
Jonah Duffin
Jonah Duffin14 June 2022