The usual suspects reign supreme

Broadsheets in broad agreement on Oxbridge excellence again this year, writes Rebecca Attwood

June 4, 2009

Another year has passed, but the results have stayed the same: the University of Oxford has pulled off a clean sweep of the top spots in three national newspapers' student guides.

Oxford is ranked as the best university in the land in The Times Good University Guide, which is published this week, for the eighth year in a row.

In second place is the University of Cambridge, followed by Imperial College London, the University of St Andrews, University College London and the University of Warwick.

The results follow Oxford's success in The Guardian and The Independent's tables, where - as last year - the university was also ranked in first place.

However, Cambridge was ahead of Oxford in more than half of The Times' 62 subject tables, the first to include the results of the 2008 research assessment exercise.

Among the biggest climbers this year are the University of Liverpool, up from 34th to 28th place, the University of Leeds, from 31st to th, the University of Sheffield, from 22nd to 18th, and the University Edinburgh, from 18th to 14th.

The University of Exeter has recorded impressive gains, climbing from 28th place in 2006 to enter the top ten this year in ninth position.

Since 2007, The Times' table has been compiled by Exeter Enterprises Ltd, a spin-off of the University of Exeter. The Times said the table was verified independently.

The University of the West of Scotland, along with three others, declined to let its data be used.

John O'Leary, editor of The Times' guide, said: "No one can predict the eventual impact of the recession, but it is highly likely that a university degree will become more important than ever."


1 University of Oxford
2 University of Cambridge
3 Imperial College London
4 University of St Andrews
5 University College London
6 University of Warwick
7 London School of Economics
8 Durham University
9 University of Exeter
10 University of Bristol

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