Cambridge beats Oxford to top university guide's table

Cambridge University
Image caption Cambridge was judged to have the highest entry standards in the guide

Cambridge has beaten Oxford to top an annual league table of UK universities for an eighth consecutive year.

The Complete University Guide 2019 rankings are based on 10 measures, including research, student satisfaction, and graduate prospects.

London School of Economics (LSE) was third in the table and Imperial College London was fourth.

Staffordshire University was the biggest climber in the rankings after it moved up 32 places to joint 73rd.

Dr Bernard Kingston, chairman of the guide, said Oxford and Cambridge usually topped the table but other universities could challenge them in the future.

Imperial College London and LSE finished ahead of Oxford and Cambridge for research quality.

Dr Kingston said there were about 20 British universities which could be considered "world-class" including modern institutions like Warwick and Lancaster.

"All are able to attract faculty and research funding globally," he added.

Image copyright Staffordshire University
Image caption Staffordshire University rose 32 places in the rankings

The guide, published each year since 2007, was compiled using publicly available data by Mayfield University Consultants - which previously produced league tables for The Times Good University Guide.

The authors of the guide also found the number of students graduating with either a first-class or upper second-class honours degree has increased year on year since the rankings were first created.

Dr Kingston said: "The proportion of good honours has steadily but inexorably increased at almost all universities.

"Either students are working harder, or they are being better taught, or something else is happening. But it is one of the criteria over which universities have a significant degree of control."

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