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Cambridge trumps Oxford in race for best UK varsity

May 20, 2014

Britain’s prestigious Cambridge University pipped arch-rival Oxford for the fourth year in a row to be named the best varsity in the country by an education guide.

Cambridge is again the country’s leading university, topping the Complete University Guide’s 2015 ranking of UK varsities which was published online on May 12.

Oxford retained second place in the ranking of 123 universities, with the London School of Economics and Political Science placed third.

The Top Ten remain unchanged compared to last year. The Universities of Southampton (16th) and Newcastle (20th) entered the Top 20, while Edinburgh (21th) and King’s (28th) dropped out, The Student Times reported.

The top ten UK universities named by the guide were Cambridge, Oxford, LSE, St Andrews, Durham, Imperial College London, Warwick, Bath, University College London and Exeter.

Both Imperial and UCL slipped slightly, from fourth to sixth, and from seventh to ninth, respectively.

Oxford Brookes University, in 48th place, is the highest ranking “new” university, although it falls three places from last year.

Student to staff ratios have improved significantly at many institutions as a result of increased staff recruitment and falling student numbers, while spending on student facilities has also risen widely, according to the guide.

In separate listings covering 67 subjects, Cambridge took the top place in 29 of the 46 it offers, and in the top ten for 45, according to the guide.

Oxford is in the leading ten universities for 34 out of 37 subjects offered, and is placed first in five. The LSE is in the top ten for 11 of the 12 subjects offered and is top in one.

Dr Bernard Kingston, principal author of The Complete University Guide, said, “The league tables, taken with the rankings for specific subjects, offer would-be students an accurate and independent guide to the UK university system.” 

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