Which Other Place? Cambridge Officially Britain’s Best Uni

Brains over brawn: after the disappointment of this year’s Boat Race, Cambridge are vindicated in the 2013 uni league tables.

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A recent report ranking universities across the globe will come as no surprise to Cantabs the world over, as it reveals that Cambridge is still better than Oxford.

They certainly need the encouragement.

Though knocked out of the top spots by American institutions, as first and second place are held by MIT (that’s the one out of Good Will Hunting) and Harvard respectively, Cambridge still hold an impressive third place in the QS World University Rankings 2013. The methodology used combines academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty student scores, citations per faculty, international faculties and international student scores for a final score.

Oxford, meanwhile, languish in sixth place, while UCL and Imperial College London come in at fourth and fifth place. This news will no doubt bruise the egos of our mortal enemies, who already lost their lead to Cambridge earlier this year, placing one spot behind us to come fourth in the Times Higher Education university rankings. Oxford also failed to join us in the top 30 universities worldwide for research excellence, as determined by QS, with Cambridge the only UK institution to be recognised for its efforts.

Despite turbulent funding reallocation in recent years, British higher education continues to give universities elsewhere a run for their money. Four of the world’s top ten universities are located in our green and (mostly) pleasant land, according to QS. Notably, a record number of UK universities placed in the top twenty, with Edinburgh University and King’s College London entering for the first time at 17th and 19th place.

To further soothe your post graduation anxiety, Oxbridge degree-holders were rated as the most employable in the world, which will come as welcome news for English and History of Art undergraduates.

Sorry John’s, we’d still rather be at Oxford

However, the QS findings aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. Of the 45 UK universities that make the top 400 in the world, 29 now rank lower than they did during the 2008 financial crisis. A total of 21 UK institutions have dropped more than 10 places since the recession, while just five rank more than 10 places higher than in 2007.

John O’Leary, a member of the QS global academic advisory board, said:

“The UK invests below the OECD average in higher education, so it is unrealistic to expect its universities to continue to punch above their weight indefinitely.

“The current success of leading institutions shows how vital it is that the government matches the investments being made by other countries in order to maintain their world-class status.”

David Willetts, following the age-old tradition of politicians saying the complete opposite of experts contradicted this.

“Our reforms to undergraduate finance have put universities on a sustainable financial footing and sharpened incentives to deliver a world-class student experience. We have protected research funding, encouraging universities to invest in cutting-edge research.”

In reaction to news of Cambridge’s excellent performance, one Selwyn second-year Historian had this to say: ‘I’m not surprised really, pretty sure my prelim results made all the difference.’

One second-year Oxford Geographer countered, telling The Tab that Cambridge “… may be higher in the rankings, but we still look better when we matriculate.’

The Tab can only draw the conclusion that it is priorities like these that are holding Oxford back.