Oxbridge lags behind Imperial College, London, and University College London in the race for private research contracts, league tables compiled by The THES show.
This year's tables include exclusive elements, detailing staff profiles and their performance in the drive to win research grants and contracts beyond their state funding for research.
Heading the field in the entrepreneurial stakes, with an annual external research income of Pounds 132 million, is UCL, closely followed by Imperial, with Pounds 130 million.
The London University colleges both earn about Pounds 10 million more than their nearest rival Oxford University (Pounds 121 million), which exceeds its ancient rival Cambridge by just over Pounds 13 million A third London University college, King's, makes the top ten with an external research income of Pounds 73 million, putting it in sixth place behind the University of Edinburgh.
Among the lowest performers are London's School of Oriental and African Studies, which is sixth from the bottom with just Pounds 1.8 million. Becaue of its subject mix,SOAS ranks alongside universities with less of a research record such as Luton, with Pounds 1.7 million. Bottom are the University of North London with Pounds 868,000 and London Guildhall with Pounds 174,000.
SOAS's low ranking contrasts sharply with its position among the top performers in terms of staffing profiles. The tables show that almost 100 per cent of SOAS's staff are engaged in teaching and research, while 94.8 per cent of staff are on permanent contracts.
The THES's league tables are compiled from public data, in conjunction with The Times's league tables, by Mayfield University Consultants, but they include exclusive additional measures. They are the only tables to link teaching quality performance with research data.
League tables, pages i-iv.