Oxford came first in tables produced by The Times, The Guardian and The Independent newspapers, all released in the past month.
Although Cambridge maintained its dominance of The Times' individual subject rankings, the number of subjects it led fell from 35 in 2009 to 31 this year.
The University of Manchester also topped three specialist sections in The Times' ranking - overall applications, international students and the university targeted by the largest number of key employers during the 2009-10 academic year.
The Times newspaper is no longer formally linked with Times Higher Education, which was sold by News International, the newspaper's owner, in 2005.
Both The Times' and The Independent's rankings placed Imperial College London in third place, whereas The Guardian table rated it seventh.
Lancaster University demonstrated the most significant jump, breaking into the top 10 of all three rankings for the first time. In The Times' table it jumped 13 places to 10th, was rated eighth by The Independent and had its highest rating in The Guardian (sixth).
However, Lancaster's ascent was bad news for the universities of Bath and Exeter, both of which lost their top 10 places.
|Table of tables 2010: the top 30|
|1||University of Oxford||1||1||1||90|
|2||University of Cambridge||2||2||2||87|
|3||Imperial College London||7||3||3||80|
|4||University of St Andrews||4||4||6||79|
|%3D5||London School of Economics||8||5||5||75|
|%3D5||University of Warwick||3||8||7||75|
|7||University College London||5||7||9||72|
|%3D9||University of York||9||9||10||65|
|%3D11||University of Edinburgh||15||11||11||55|
|%3D11||University of Bath||13||13||12||55|
|14||University of Leicester||12||15||22||44|
|15||University of Exeter||14||12||24||43|
|16||University of Southampton||18||19||14||41|
|%3D18||King’s College London||25||16||13||37|
|%3D18||University of Sussex||15||21||19||37|
|20||University of Nottingham||21||20||18||33|
|21||University of Bristol||–||14||16||32|
|22||University of East Anglia||19||23||28||22|
|23||University of Glasgow||23||23||26||20|
|24||University of Sheffield||–||18||25||19|
|25||University of Birmingham||30||22||23||18|
|University of Buckingham||–||–||20||11|
|28||University of Surrey||20||–||–||10|
|29||University of Leeds||–||26||9|
Each year since 2008, Times Higher Education has compiled a "Table of tables" to give a snapshot of how the sector is seen by the national newspapers.
This year, it was calculated by giving the top 30 institutions points corresponding to their position in The Times, The Guardian and The Independent tables (30 for the top place, 29 for second and so on). The total scores determined the overall positions. We make no claims for statistical rigour and acknowledge the methodological limitations.
The University of Oxford comes first, followed by the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London. The University of St Andrews is the highest-ranked Scottish institution, as it was in 2008 and 2009.
Robert Gordon University was the highest-ranked new university (36th).