Oxford finishes second in CUG university rankings

For the sixth year, Oxford finds itself behind rival Cambridge

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Trinity college, Cambridge. Source: Wikimedia

Oxford has come second to Cambridge in The Complete University Guide’s University League Table for the sixth consecutive year.

Oxford also finished second to Cambridge in a range of subject specific tables compiled by The Complete University Guide, including Law, Medicine, Economics, Mathematics, Chemistry and History. It secured a top five position in many other subjects, such as Classics and Iberian Studies. In a few subjects, Oxford did take the top spot, most notably in Politics and Music.

The table indicated a disparity between the UK’s top two universities and those that were ranked below them. Although Cambridge’s total points for all subjects was 1000 and Oxford’s 998, the London School of Economics came third on the table, scoring 940.

Speaking about the results, an Oxford university spokesperson said, “The various university ranking tables vary greatly in their criteria and in their placings from year to year. What is most important is that across these tables, Oxford is consistently ranked among the world’s leading institutions, both for the strength of its research and the quality of its teaching.” They did not comment on Oxford’s place behind Cambridge.

However, it is questionable whether such a narrow gap in the ratings is something that students should be concerned about. “Coming second to Cambridge doesn’t really bother me. There’s probably a reasonable explanation, like the fact that they take a higher proportion of science students, whereas Oxford is more humanities heavy. I don’t think it affects my existence too much anyway,” Balliol PPEist Zachary Leather told Cherwell.

“I don’t think it affects my existence too much anyway”

Zachary Leather

The table, published earlier this week, ranked UK universities based on categories such as student satisfaction, graduate prospects and research quality. Oxford was ranked narrowly behind Cambridge in terms of Graduate Prospects, the two universities scoring 86.7 and 89.0, respectively. It also had a lower ratio of staff to students at 10.5, the lowest ratio of any of the top eight universities. However, Oxford and Cambridge scored an equal number of points in the Student Satisfaction category, with Oxford scoring 0.1 points more for the quality of their research.

There was no change to the top five universities since last year. Imperial was ranked fourth and St Andrews remained Scotland’s highest placed university in fifth.

Manchester Metropolitan University was this year’s biggest climber, rising 16 places to 57th.

London Metropolitan was the lowest placed university in the table, coming 127th, falling one place since last year’s table.

The full table can be found on The Complete University Guide’s website.

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