The 2018 TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk rankings, published today (Wednesday 26 April 2017), show an improving picture this year driven by better graduate employment prospects and increased spending by the universities on student facilities and services.
Cambridge holds on to first place, as does Oxford in second. St Andrews has risen to third place for the first time in TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk Main Table, which this year ranks 129 UK universities.
Nationally the top ten universities are Cambridge, Oxford, St Andrews, London School of Economics, Imperial College London, Durham, University College London, Warwick, Lancaster and Loughborough.
Dr Bernard Kingston, Chairman of TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk, said: “It is ten years since TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk launched its online university league tables, and they have proved their accuracy, independence and robustness over the decade.
“This year there is a considerable degree of stability at the upper end of the league table, as in the past. This stability, while it may not attract the headlines, demonstrates that the rankings fulfil our principal objective – to provide credible and freely accessible information for individuals seeking a university place.
“The Government has said that applicants need access to robust, timely and objective information, based on criteria that are straightforward and easily understood.
“We believe that TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk meets these criteria and more and we intend that this will remain the case for the next decade – and beyond. Indeed, we use the same three metrics which the Government plans to include in its much-heralded Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).”
Following a drop of nine places to 24th in 2017, Bristol (17th) has climbed seven places. Nottingham is the only other new entrant in the Top 20, climbing three places to 18th. Two universities have dropped out of the Top 20: Edinburgh falls four places to 23rd, while Southampton is the biggest faller of last year’s Top 20, dropping nine places to 26th.
Coventry, in 43rd place, has climbed seven places and now replaces Lincoln (down one place to 50th) as the highest ranking post-1992 university (former polytechnic).
There are two new institutions in the Main Table in 2018. Birkbeck, University of London enters in 115th, and Suffolk enters in 129th. Wolverhampton refused to permit its data to be released and so remains the only eligible university not to appear in the Table.
|Arts University Bournemouth||61st||76th||+15|
|West of Scotland||100th||110th||+10|
|Norwich University of the Arts||84th||66th||-18|
|York St John||122nd||107th||-15|
|St George’s, University of London||53rd||44th||-9|
The Main Table is based on ten measures: Student Satisfaction, Research Quality, Research Intensity, Entry Standards, Student: Staff Ratio; Spending on Academic Services; Spending on Student Facilities; Good Honours Degrees; Graduate Prospects and Completion. It includes 129 institutions (127 last year).
For the second year running, TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk has also published an Arts, Drama & Music Table which lists 14 specialist institutions offering too small a subject range to appear in the Main Table. This table shows remarkable consistency, with no institution moving more than two places.
In separate listings for 70 subjects, Cambridge features in the Top Ten in all 44 subjects it teaches, topping the table in 34. Oxford features in the Top Ten for all 38 subjects that it offers, finishing first in five, while Imperial College London appears in the Top Ten for all 14 of the subjects it provides, topping the table in one.
Durham features in the Top Ten of 32 of the 33 subjects it teaches, finishing first in three, while St Andrews makes the Top Ten for 23 of the 25 subjects it offers, topping the table in two.
Strathclyde appears at the top of three subject tables, a total only surpassed by Cambridge and Oxford. A number of universities with relatively few Top Ten appearances still secure the top place in a subject table. One such example is Queen Mary, University of London which tops the table in Dentistry.
The 70 subject tables are based on five measures (Student Satisfaction, Research Quality, Research Intensity, Entry Standards and Graduate Prospects) and include 143 universities, university colleges and specialist higher education institutions (137 last year).
TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk allows greater flexibility than newspaper and book-based guides. All the Guide’s university league tables can be sorted by their individual measures, and also filtered by year, region and mission group (including the Cathedrals Group, GuildHE, Million+ Group, Russell Group, the University Alliance and the universities that are unaffiliated.
The league tables full methodology and other information are available at www.TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk.
Simon Emmett, Chief Executive Officer of the Hotcourses Group, which acquired TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk in October 2015, said: “The rankings provided by TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk are widely respected and cited both at home and, importantly, overseas.
“The rankings are well known for their editorial integrity and independence, key qualities which we know will remain under the continued guidance of Dr Bernard Kingston. It is a pleasure to work with him and his expert team, to whom I offer my warmest congratulations on this latest release.
“The CUG league tables increasingly enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the very different Whatuni Student Choice Awards. Both exist to help students make one of the most important decisions of their lives – the right choice of subject and the right university for them.”
The team behind TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk has compiled university league tables for more than 20 years. Since 2007, these have been freely available online, enabling users to tailor the tables for their personal use by choosing the criteria that are directly important to them. The Guide is an autonomous division of the Hotcourses Group, the international educational listing company, from which, by mutual agreement, it retains its complete editorial independence. In January 2017, the Hotcourses Group was acquired by IDP Education, a global leader in international student recruitment with HQ in Melbourne, Australia. IDP is 50% owned by 38 Australian universities and the remaining 50% shares traded on the Australian Stock Exchange.