For the first time, Times Higher Education has produced a student-focused ranking to determine the best universities for teaching across eight countries in Europe.
Instead of placing a focus on research output and quality, as many international university rankings do, the 2018 Europe Teaching Rankings serves as a pilot ranking to determine the best universities for teaching quality and learning opportunities for students.
One of the key components of the ranking was THE's first ever European Student Survey, taken by more than 30,000 university students in eight countries. Students rated their university on a scale of zero to 10 across a number of aspects of their university life, including collaborative learning, critical thinking and application of learning to the real world.
The Student Survey accounted for 50 per cent of the university’s final scores and fed into seven of the 13 performance indicators used to rank the institutions. To view the full methodology and all of the questions asked in the Student Survey click here.
The top five of the inaugural Europe Teaching Rankings is dominated by UK universities, with the University of Oxford taking the top spot and the University of Cambridge coming in second. In third place is the only non-UK institution in the top five, Sorbonne University in France. Taking the fourth and fifth places are the University of Warwick and UCL respectively.
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Top five universities in Europe for teaching
1. University of Oxford, UK
Regularly ranking highly in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the University of Oxford is well known for providing high-quality teaching and learning.
International students make up approximately 43 per cent of the student body, coming from the USA, China, Singapore, France, Germany and Italy, among other nations.
The university is split into a collegiate structure with 38 separate colleges, each with its own unique identity and history.
Because of its strong reputation within the higher education sector, the university has a competitive admissions stream, with approximately six applications per university place. Students are able to specify their college of choice or leave it open in their application. Students will then be allocated a college based on their individual interests and strengths. Prospective students are invited for an interview that is known to test a student’s knowledge of their chosen subject and their critical thinking skills.
2. University of Cambridge, UK
In second place is the University of Cambridge, also located in the UK. At more than 800 years old, the institution has become a true hallmark of the high-quality higher education that Europe can offer.
Like Oxford, Cambridge follows a collegiate structure with 31 separate colleges that are governed by the teaching staff attached to those colleges. Students are encouraged to socialise and spend time in their own colleges.
In the European Student Survey, the university scored very highly on access to learning materials. This includes libraries (of which there are more than 100, housing more than 15 million books), labs and online material.
3. Sorbonne University, France
The university is divided into three faculties: humanities, sciences and medicine. The faculty of science has more than 125 labs, many of them affiliated with the French National Centre for Scientific Research.
Teaching at the university is focused on the individual, with multidisciplinary and diversified degree programmes that can be adapted to the goals of each student.
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4. University of Warwick, UK
Students at the University of Warwick were highly likely to recommend the university to a friend or family member, according to the Student Survey.
In their first year, students live on campus and are encouraged to take an active part in student societies and the students’ union. In subsequent years students tend to move off campus into the closest town of Leamington Spa or other nearby Coventry suburbs.
Compared with some of the other universities that made the top five, the University of Warwick is a relatively young university, having been established only in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand higher education.
Since then the university has expanded to have 29 academic departments and more than 50 research centres and institutes in four faculties: arts, medicine, science and social sciences.
5. UCL, UK
UCL was established in 1826, originally under the name London University. It then became University College, London in 1836 and is now mostly referred to as UCL.
The university is primarily located in Bloomsbury, central London. A number of other buildings are dotted around the city, as well as a new campus in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London, which is known as UCL East.
Admissions to the university are highly selective, with many prospective students expected to receive the highest grades in their school exams to gain entry.
Top 100 universities in Europe for teaching excellence
|Europe Teaching Rank||World University Rank 2018||Institution name||Country name|
|1||1||University of Oxford||United Kingdom|
|2||2||University of Cambridge||United Kingdom|
|4||91||University of Warwick||United Kingdom|
|6||76||University of Bristol||United Kingdom|
|7||=54||University of Manchester||United Kingdom|
|8||301–350||University of Navarra||Spain|
|=9||=175||Newcastle University||United Kingdom|
|=9||=137||University of York||United Kingdom|
|=11||8||Imperial College London||United Kingdom|
|=11||104||University of Sheffield||United Kingdom|
|13||36||King’s College London||United Kingdom|
|14||=27||University of Edinburgh||United Kingdom|
|15||=143||University of St Andrews||United Kingdom|
|16||=150||Lancaster University||United Kingdom|
|18||=147||University of Nottingham||United Kingdom|
|19||201–250||University of Barcelona||Spain|
|20||=147||Autonomous University of Barcelona||Spain|
|21||=126||University of Southampton||United Kingdom|
|=22||351–400||Autonomous University of Madrid||Spain|
|=22||=147||University of Sussex||United Kingdom|
|24||121||Queen Mary University of London||United Kingdom|
|25||=141||University of Birmingham||United Kingdom|
|=26||139||University of Leeds||United Kingdom|
|28||501–600||University of Lisbon||Portugal|
|29||97||Durham University||United Kingdom|
|30||59||University of Amsterdam||Netherlands|
|31||=80||University of Glasgow||United Kingdom|
|32||=162||Cardiff University||United Kingdom|
|33||201–250||University of Reading||United Kingdom|
|=34||=130||University of Exeter||United Kingdom|
|=34||301–350||Loughborough University||United Kingdom|
|36||251–300||University of Trento||Italy|
|37||=177||University of Liverpool||United Kingdom|
|38||=113||University of Göttingen||Germany|
|39||=83||University of Groningen||Netherlands|
|40||251–300||University of Essex||United Kingdom|
|41||187||University of Dundee||United Kingdom|
|42||140||Pompeu Fabra University||Spain|
|43||501–600||University of Porto||Portugal|
|44||251–300||University of Bath||United Kingdom|
|45||251–300||University of Surrey||United Kingdom|
|46||351–400||University of Padua||Italy|
|=47||301–350||University of Kent||United Kingdom|
|=47||401–500||University of Strathclyde||United Kingdom|
|=47||351–400||University College Cork||Republic of Ireland|
|=50||401–500||Claude Bernard University Lyon 1||France|
|=50||601–800||University of Minho||Portugal|
|51-75||185||University of Aberdeen||United Kingdom|
|51-75||301–350||Aberystwyth University||United Kingdom|
|51-75||601–800||University of Alcalá||Spain|
|51-75||501–600||University of Aveiro||Portugal|
|51-75||601–800||Carlos III University of Madrid||Spain|
|51-75||NR||Comillas Pontifical University||Spain|
|51-75||=188||University of East Anglia||United Kingdom|
|51-75||351–400||Federal University of Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées||France|
|51-75||=159||University of Leicester||United Kingdom|
|51-75||601–800||Manchester Metropolitan University||United Kingdom|
|51-75||125||University of Mannheim||Germany|
|51-75||501–600||NOVA University of Lisbon||Portugal|
|51-75||401–500||Oxford Brookes University||United Kingdom|
|51-75||401–500||University of Plymouth||United Kingdom|
|51-75||301–350||Polytechnic University of Milan||Italy|
|51-75||501–600||University of Portsmouth||United Kingdom|
|51-75||197||Royal Holloway, University of London||United Kingdom|
|51-75||601–800||University of Seville||Spain|
|51-75||801–1000||Sheffield Hallam University||United Kingdom|
|51-75||401–500||University of Siena||Italy|
|51-75||41||Technical University of Munich||Germany|
|51-75||=117||Trinity College Dublin||Republic of Ireland|
|51-75||94||University of Tübingen||Germany|
|51-75||601–800||University of Zaragoza||Spain|
|76-100||351–400||Aston University||United Kingdom|
|76-100||301–350||Bangor University||United Kingdom|
|76-100||251–300||University of Bayreuth||Germany|
|76-100||351–400||Brunel University London||United Kingdom|
|76-100||351–400||City, University of London||United Kingdom|
|76-100||501–600||Complutense University of Madrid||Spain|
|76-100||601–800||Coventry University||United Kingdom|
|76-100||801–1000||University of Derby||United Kingdom|
|76-100||501–600||Keele University||United Kingdom|
|76-100||401–500||University of Lille||France|
|76-100||501–600||University of Limerick||Republic of Ireland|
|76-100||401–500||Marche Polytechnic University||Italy|
|76-100||601–800||Nottingham Trent University||United Kingdom|
|76-100||501–600||Panthéon-Sorbonne University – Paris 1||France|
|76-100||NR||Paris Descartes University||France|
|76-100||NR||Polytechnic Institute of Porto||Portugal|
|76-100||501–600||Polytechnic University of Valencia||Spain|
|76-100||201–250||Queen’s University Belfast||United Kingdom|
|76-100||401–500||University of Rovira i Virgili||Spain|
|76-100||301–350||University of Stirling||United Kingdom|
|76-100||351–400||University of Strasbourg||France|
|76-100||501–600||University of Valencia||Spain|
Read more: Best universities in Europe