Oxford University was beaten into second place by Cambridge for the fourth year running in a national university league table.
The 2015 Complete University Guide, released this week, named Cambridge as the best university in the country. After Oxford, the London School of Economics, St Andrews, and Durham were next on the list.
Described by its author Dr Bernard Kingston as “an accurate and independent guide to the UK university system”, the table ranks UK institutions in nine areas.
These include student satisfaction, student to staff ratios, graduate prospects, entry standards and completion rates. The overall score given to Oxford was 993 points, compared with Cambridge’s 1,000.
The most significant difference between the two elite institutions was in entry standards, with the average Cambridge student holding a UCAS tariff score of 614, compared to Oxford’s 580.
An Oxford University spokesperson defended the University’s performance. He stated: “All league table results vary depending on the factors used to calculate their rankings.
“The Times Higher Education world rankings, for example, has named Oxford as the strongest university in the UK for the past three years and the second strongest in the world for the past two.”
The University went on to stress that “league tables consistently show Oxford in the very forefront of the world’s universities, both for the quality of its teaching and the excellence of its research”.
News of the tab victory did not go down well with students. Second-year Law student Aled Jones, a Labour candidate in the Oxford City Council elections later this month, said: “Did Hillary and Bill Clinton spend the last couple of days swanning around Cambridge? I think not.”
Wadham fresher Tim Cannon stated: “I would rather be in Oxford having fun in an internationally acclaimed university than to be cooped up and studying constantly in a darkened room in Cambridge.”