Cambridge Tops Guardian League Table
In the latest edition of the newspaper's University Guide, Cambridge has come out on top for the second year running, also achieving the top spot in 15 subject areas.
by Ross Moody
Wednesday 23rd May 2012, 00:45 BST
Most readers of this article should, for at least a minute or two, hit the pause button on their studying and/or panicking about exams to reflect on a job well done. They have already made it, after all, to the best university in the United Kingdom. Really.
On Monday, 21 May, the Guardian released the latest edition of its University Guide, with Cambridge topping the league table for the second year in a row. Natural sciences and engineering students should feel especially proud, as Cambridge has topped the table for general and chemical engineering, computer sciences, maths, and biosciences, as well as 11 other subjects. Oxford, which was dislodged from the top overall spot last year, topped the tables of seven subjects, including those for economics, business and law.
Those concerned about the state of education in the city of Cambridge in general have yet another reason to be happy, as Anglia Ruskin University jumped 14 places from last year’s Guardian ranking to 77th in the UK.
The Guardian guide is unique in its emphasis on teaching rather than research- the three other league tables (Complete University Guide, Sunday Times University Guide and Times Good University Guide) all include a research component in the formulas for their respective rankings. According to a methodology document downloaded from the newspaper’s website, universities are ranked according to their scores on the HEFCE’s National Student Survey regarding teaching quality, assessment and feedback quality and overall satisfaction, as well as a “value-added” score measuring the increase of students’ average marks constituting their degree honours on the average of those that make up their UCAS entry points, institutions’ student-staff ratios, their expenditures per student, UCAS entry scores and career prospects.
For most subjects, the last five criteria each have a 15% weighting on an institution’s ranking, while the NSS teaching and assessment scores are each worth 10% of the ranking and the overall satisfaction score is worth 5%. Three subjects- Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences- have a different weighting scheme that does not consider career prospects.
Cambridge has also come top in the latest editions of the Complete University Guide and the Sunday Times University Guide, while the Times Good University Guide’s latest edition has ranked Oxford first.