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Oxford tops Times’ university rankings for first time in twelve years

Maggie Wilcox reports.

The Good University Guide 2023 has placed the University of Oxford first on the league tables, beating Cambridge and St Andrews for the first time in twelve years.

This review of UK universities is jointly published annually by the Times and the Sunday Times. The ranking is based on factors including teaching quality, services and facilities, student satisfaction, entrance qualifications by new students, graduate prospects and completion rate. Oxford scored high across the board. The student to staff ratio was the lowest in the UK (10.5 to 1) and the university also ranks among the best for graduate prospects.

Due to Oxford Student Union’s successful boycott of the Department of Education’s National Student Survey, which assesses aspects of student satisfaction, some categories had no applicable data. To determine Oxford’s overall ranking, the creators of the Good University Guide took their 2016 scores for teaching quality and student experience and adjusted them by the overall percentage point change between 2016 and 2022 observed in the other universities in this league table. The University of Cambridge also boycotted the NSS and was measured by the Good University Guide in the same way. It placed third overall. 

Oxford has placed first in various university rankings including the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for six years in a row and The 2022 Guardian University Guide. It also places second in the QS World University Rankings.

Outgoing Vice-Chancellor Prof Dame Louise Richardson expressed her delight at Oxford taking the top spot in the Good University Guide tables. She called the achievement a “testament to the talent and commitment of staff all across the collegiate University”.  


The official Good University Guide 2023 will be published in the Sunday Times on September 18.

Image Credit: Kaymar Adl/CC by 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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