Good University Guide: For the first time ever, Oxford and Cambridge miss out on top spot in rankings

For the first time ever, neither Cambridge nor Oxford have topped The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, with the University of St Andrews securing the No 1 spot.

No university has been placed higher than the Oxbridge institutions in the guide‘s 30-year history, or any other domestic university rankings.

St Andrews, in Scotland, has been closing in on the top spot for several years with high student satisfaction scores.

During the pandemic, the university pivoted its small-class teaching model to online delivery methods, registering only a slight decline in satisfaction rates in the National Student Survey.

Scores in institutions have largely fallen this year, helping propel St Andrews to the top of the rankings – four percentage points ahead of its rivals.

St Andrews also scored highly in the most recent Research Excellence Framework and for its marine research department.

Alastair McCall, the editor of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: "St Andrews’ achievement in topping our institutional table should not be underestimated.

"It is no fluke. The university has been closing in on the Oxbridge duopoly for several years, buoyed by outstanding levels of student satisfaction which have peaked during the past year of pandemic disruption on campus."

The vice chancellor of the University of St Andrews, Professor Sally Mapstone, said she is "thrilled for our students, staff and alumni".

"Of course, we’ll enjoy this remarkable result, and I expect there may be a little good-natured cross-border teasing amongst colleagues," she said.

"We have been in very good company close to the top of this important league table for several years, but until now, always on someone’s shoulder."

Cambridge came bottom in the guide’s rankings for social inclusion, while Oxford was second to last.

Over 47% of students at Cambridge were from state schools, while 29.3% of students were from ethnically diverse communities and 15.4% were the first to go to university in their family.

At Oxford, 45.6% of students went to non-grammar state schools, over 14% were first-generation students and 23.8% were from ethnically diverse communities.

Follow the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Only two universities out of 132 – Imperial College London and the University of Surrey – saw an increase in student satisfaction.

Imperial College also won the guide’s University of Year and the University of Year for student satisfaction awards.

It has overtaken the London School of Economics and Political Science as the top London university.

The University of Surrey has been awarded the University of the Year for graduate employment.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap