THE ‘Table of Tables’ 2021: Scottish universities make gains

Cambridge and Oxford jointly lead combined results of three main UK university league tables

October 7, 2020
Source: istock

Universities in Scotland have made significant progress in this year’s Times Higher Education “Table of Tables”.

The University of Edinburgh is the biggest riser in the top 30 list, climbing six places to joint 14th – largely owing to a strong performance in The Guardian’s ranking – while the universities of Strathclyde, Dundee and Aberdeen all feature as new entries this year, doubling Scotland’s representation in the table to six. Strathclyde ranks 21st, while Dundee and Aberdeen share 22nd place.

Elsewhere in Scotland, the University of Glasgow climbs one place to join Edinburgh at 14th and the University of St Andrews holds on to third place in the table, which is based on the combined results of the UK’s three main domestic university rankings: The Complete University Guide, the Guardian University Guide and the combined Times and Sunday Times’ Good University Guide.

The London School of Economics also makes strong gains, rising five places to fourth, while the University of Bristol jumps four places to 12th.

Meanwhile, the University of Cambridge’s nine-year outright lead at the top of the ranking has come to an end as the University of Oxford moves up to joint first place after topping The Guardian’s ranking.

The University of Nottingham is the biggest faller, declining seven places to joint 24th.

Alongside the three new Scottish representatives, King’s College London, the University of Sheffield and the University of the West of England are new entries this year.

As a result, six universities drop out of the table: Nottingham Trent University, the University for the Creative Arts, Harper Adams University, Coventry University, the University of Lincoln and the University of Surrey.

Times Higher Education Table of Tables 2021: top 30

Institution 2021 rank 2020 rank Change Total points
University of Cambridge 1= 1 0 88
University of Oxford 1= 2 1 88
University of St Andrews 3 3 0 85
London School of Economics and Political Science 4 9 5 80
Durham University 5 6 1 76
Imperial College London 6 4 -2 74
Loughborough University 7 5 -2 73
University of Bath 8 8 0 69
Lancaster University 9 7 -2 65
University of Warwick 10 10 0 64
UCL 11 13 2 61
University of Bristol 12 16 4 55
University of Exeter 13 11 -2 53
University of Edinburgh 14= 20 6 48
University of Glasgow 14= 15 1 48
University of Leeds 16 12 -4 44
University of Birmingham 17 14 -3 40
University of Southampton 18 18= 0 38
University of York 19 21 2 35
University of Manchester 20 18= -2 33
University of Strathclyde 21 New New 24
University of Dundee 22= New New 20
University of Aberdeen 22= New New 20
University of East Anglia 24= 23= -1 16
University of Nottingham 24= 17 -7 16
Royal Holloway, University of London 24= 22 -2 16
King’s College London 27 New New 12
University of Sheffield 28 New New 11
University of the West of England  29 New New 10
Newcastle University 30 30 0 8

Each year since 2008, THE has compiled a “Table of Tables” to offer a snapshot of how UK universities are viewed by national newspapers. It is calculated by giving the 30 top-ranked institutions in league tables compiled by The Good University Guide (published by The Times and The Sunday Times), The Guardian and The Complete University Guide points corresponding to their position (30 for first place, 29 for second and so on). The total scores determined the positions. We make no claims for statistical rigour and acknowledge the methodological limitations.

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Reader's comments (1)

Hi, I think you may have - inadvertently? - missed out a slightly important bit of related news re Scottish HEIs? Good University Guide 2021 Scottish University of the Year 2021 - Robert Gordon University