Complete University Guide reveals its top UK universities 2016

Data also show improvement in staff to student ratio

April 27, 2015

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UK universities have increased their spending on facilities during the last five years, with the number of university staff members per student also on the up.

Data from the Complete University Guide show that, since 2010, despite an initial worsening in student to staff ratios at UK institutions, there has been an improvement across most of the UK.

The exception is Wales, where the ratio worsened slightly between 2012 and 2013 before a reduction last year. However, universities in Wales still have the highest student to staff ratios of any in the UK.


- Complete University Guide reveals its top UK universities 2017


Spending on facilities including sports, careers services, health, and counselling, has increased steadily over the five-year period, the data suggest, while there has also been a sustained rise in the percentage of graduates in professional employment or engaged in further study six months after graduation.

Bernard Kingston, principal author of the Complete University Guide, said: “UK students seem to be getting a better deal for their higher tuition fees in almost every area. It remains to be seen how far this trend can continue but in the short term at least, students are benefitting from spending on facilities that affect them directly.”

Commenting on the ranking, Dr Kingston said: “There is a considerable degree of stability at the upper end of the league table this year, suggesting that the transition from the previous assessment of research quality to this year’s research excellence framework has not made a significant difference.”


Complete University Guide top 20 UK universities 2016

2016 rank 2015 rank Institution
1 1 University of Cambridge
2 2 University of Oxford
3 3 London School of Economics and Political Science
4 6 Imperial College London
=5 5 Durham University
=5 4 University of St Andrews
7 7 University of Warwick
8 12 University of Surrey
9 11 Lancaster University
10 9 University College London
11 10 University of Exeter
12 8 University of Bath
13 13 Loughborough University
14 16 University of Southampton
15 18 University of Bristol
16 15 University of East Anglia
17 14 University of York
18 17 University of Birmingham
19 23 University of Leeds
20 21 University of Edinburgh

View the full Complete University Guide league table

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