The Top 5 Ranked Universities in England

#Collaborative post

Education is a competitive business in the UK with each university spending significant amounts promoting their strengths and playing on their history and reputation.

Some important factors to consider when choosing universities in England include:

  • University ranking
  • Subject ranking
  • Location
  • Cost of living
  • Student satisfaction
  • Research ranking
  • Percentage of international students

Being ranked as one of the top 5 universities in the country is a prestigious recognition of excellence in education, and a key selling point when it comes to attracting students.

And for 2022, the winners are….

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide ranked their top 5 out of 132 universities in the UK as:

  1. University of St. Andrews
  2. University of Oxford
  3. University of Cambridge
  4. Imperial College London
  5. London school of Economics and Political Science.

But before you rush to the websites of those 5 outstanding educational institutions, read on ….

Because, according to the QS World University Rankings 2022, the top 5 UK universities are:

  1. University of Oxford
  2. University of Cambridge
  3. Imperial College London
  4. UCL
  5. The University of Edinburgh.


You should be because The Guardian has listed their top 5 UK universities as:

  1. Oxford
  2. Cambridge
  3. Andrews
  4. London School of Economics
  5. Durham

At least The Guardian chart allows you to alter the table by choosing the rankings based on subject area.

If you choose the subject of Media and Film studies, the rankings change quite significantly to:

  1. Warwick
  2. Andrews
  3. Leeds
  4. Kings College London
  5. Edinburgh Napier.

Which ranking chart is correct?

These rankings are based on measures such as teaching quality, research quality or the ratio of staff to students. Each measure contributes a particular percentage towards a university’s score. But some measures carry a different weighting by each different chart, and that’s why their results differ.

Which is most correct depends on which measures are most important to you.

QS World University Rankings

Their ranking focuses heavily on research and reputation and doesn’t include teaching quality or students’ views on any aspects of their courses.

Weight is given to the percentages of staff and students from abroad. This creates a bias towards universities in locations that are attractive to those from overseas.

The Times and the Complete University Guide

This ranking favours universities that combine research strength with student satisfaction. This is helpful if you want a broad picture of a university’s success, rather than having one factor that’s particularly important to you.

Student satisfaction, teaching, assessment, and research carry less weight, but they do cover a wider range of areas like facilities and organization.

The Guardian

The Guardian’s table favours universities that students rate as being good at teaching and assessing them and helping students who haven’t been academic high-fliers in the past to achieve success.

How useful are rankings?

. If money is an issue and you live in Leeds, then The University of Leeds might make it easy to live rent-free thanks to the bank of Mum & Dad meaning you stay at home and don’t face any accommodation costs.

If you want to study media and film then Warwick should probably be at the top of your list, but you will still want to consider the other factors mentioned.

If history and reputation are your most important factors, then you might be choosing between Oxford and Cambridge.

Ranking charts are useful, but you still need to consider many other factors and how they apply specifically to you. There are other issues to consider like how easy it might be to find part-time work, the possibility of a scholarship or free studies, and what affect your study location has on your relationship with family or romantic connections.