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Dreaming spires dominant: Oxford tops 'Table of tables' for third year

Cambridge edged out by ancient rival as Lancaster jumps into 10th place. Sarah Cunnane reports

The University of Oxford has continued its dominance of the UK's university league tables after pipping the University of Cambridge to the post in three domestic rankings.

Oxford came first in tables produced by The Times, The Guardian and The Independent newspapers, all released in the past month.

Although Cambridge maintained its dominance of The Times' individual subject rankings, the number of subjects it led fell from 35 in 2009 to 31 this year.

Outside Oxbridge, the University of Warwick and Loughborough University topped three subject tables each - more than any other institution.

The University of Manchester also topped three specialist sections in The Times' ranking - overall applications, international students and the university targeted by the largest number of key employers during the 2009-10 academic year.

The Times newspaper is no longer formally linked with Times Higher Education, which was sold by News International, the newspaper's owner, in 2005.

Both The Times' and The Independent's rankings placed Imperial College London in third place, whereas The Guardian table rated it seventh.

Lancaster University demonstrated the most significant jump, breaking into the top 10 of all three rankings for the first time. In The Times' table it jumped 13 places to 10th, was rated eighth by The Independent and had its highest rating in The Guardian (sixth).

However, Lancaster's ascent was bad news for the universities of Bath and Exeter, both of which lost their top 10 places.

sarah.cunnane@tsleducation.com


Table of tables 2010: the top 30
 University Guardian Times Independent Total
1 University of Oxford 1 1 1 90
2 University of Cambridge2 2 2 87
3 Imperial College London7 3 3 80
4 University of St Andrews4 4 6 79
%3D5 London School of Economics8 5 5 75
%3D5University of Warwick3 8 7 75
7 University College London 5 7 9 72
8 Lancaster University6 10 8 69
%3D9 Durham University17 6 4 65
%3D9University of York 9 9 10 65
%3D11 University of Edinburgh15 11 11 55
%3D11 University of Bath13 13 12 55
13 Loughborough University9 16 21 47
14University of Leicester 12 15 22 44
15 University of Exeter14 12 24 43
16 University of Southampton18 19 14 41
17 Soas1127 15 40
%3D18 King’s College London25 16 13 37
%3D18 University of Sussex 15 21 19 37
20 University of Nottingham21 20 18 33
21 University of Bristol 14 16 32
22 University of East Anglia19 23 28 22
23 University of Glasgow23 23 26 20
24 University of Sheffield18 25 19
25 University of Birmingham30 22 23 18
26 Aston University29 17 16
27 University of Buckingham20 11
28 University of Surrey20 10
29 University of Leeds26 27 9
30 Newcastle University 25 29 8

SNAPSHOT JUSTIFICATION

Each year since 2008, Times Higher Education has compiled a "Table of tables" to give a snapshot of how the sector is seen by the national newspapers.

This year, it was calculated by giving the top 30 institutions points corresponding to their position in The Times, The Guardian and The Independent tables (30 for the top place, 29 for second and so on). The total scores determined the overall positions. We make no claims for statistical rigour and acknowledge the methodological limitations.

The University of Oxford comes first, followed by the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London. The University of St Andrews is the highest-ranked Scottish institution, as it was in 2008 and 2009.

Robert Gordon University was the highest-ranked new university (36th).

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