Oxbridge tops table in student success

January 21, 2000

Students at the University of Cambridge have come top of a league table of achievement, with 87 per cent of full-time students achieving a first or upper-second class degree in 1997-98.

At the University of Oxford, 79 per cent of students achieved this level. Next came the University of Nottingham with 76 per cent, the University of Edinburgh with 72 per cent and the University of Glasgow with just under 72 per cent.

The figures, which exclude institutions with fewer than 1,000 full-time students, were published this week by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

The rates were unsurprising given the universities' intake. Some 99.6 per cent of full-time degree students at Cambridge had higher than average A-level points. The figure for Oxford was 99.5 per cent.

Other institutions with prestigious intakes included Imperial College, London, the London School of Economics and the University of Bristol, where more than 96 per cent of students had higher than average entry grades.

Oxford beat Cambridge in the employability of its graduates, however. Just 1.5 per cent of its former students were assumed to be unemployed after graduation, compared with 3.5 per cent of Cambridge graduates.

Other low graduate unemployment rates included UMIST, the University of Surrey and King's College, London, all with unemployment rates under 1.5 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, just 3.2 per cent of students at Luton University had better than average A-level grades. The figure for Thames Valley University was 3.3 per cent; the University of Abertay, Dundee and the University of Paisley took 7.1 per cent.

However, the graduate unemployment rate for Luton University was low at 3.1 per cent; the figure for TVU was 9.1 per cent. The University of East London had the worst rate with 17 per cent of graduates assumed unemployed.

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