Cambridge is UK number 1 in 2019 university rankings

Cambridge is UK number 1 in 2019 university rankings

  • University flag flying above Old Schools

Cambridge is the top UK university and fourth in the world in the 2019 league tables produced by the Guardian and the Center for World University Rankings.

The Guardian University Guide

The Guardian's league table is aimed at prospective applicants choosing a course of study. It ranks all of the universities in the UK, and is also broken down by 54 subjects.

The top ten in the main table are:

  1. University of Cambridge
  2. University of Oxford
  3. University of St Andrews
  4. Loughborough University
  5. Durham University
  6. University of Bath
  7. Imperial College London
  8. University of Warwick
  9. Lancaster University
  10. University of Leeds

See the full list on the Guardian's website


The tables are compiled for the Guardian by Intelligent Metrix (an independent consultancy). The rankings are based on official data collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and on the National Student Survey (NSS). The tables prioritise scoring about teaching, learning and employability, because these are believed to be of most interest to potential students.

Read more about the Guardian University Guide's metholodogy.

The Guardian's University Guide includes a new continuation indicator this year, which looks at the risk of a student not successfully completing their course. There were also changes to the NSS survey between 2016 and 2017, so the 2019 Guide is based only on questions that appeared in both years. The compilation of the Guardian's University Guide has otherwise remained reasonably consistent since 2008.

Center for World University Rankings

Separately, the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) has published its 2018-19 World University Rankings. These measure the quality of education and training of students, as well as the standing of faculty members and the quality of their research. The Center uses a blend of objective quality indicators to rank institutions, including the number of published articles in peer-reviewed journals, awards, prizes and medals.

The top ten in the world in this year's rankings are:

  1. Harvard University USA
  2. Stanford University, USA
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
  4. University of Cambridge, UK
  5. University of Oxford, UK
  6. University of California, Berkeley, USA
  7. Princeton University, USA
  8. Columbia University, USA
  9. California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA 
  10. University of Chicago, USA

See the full list on the CWUR website


CWUR uses seven indicators to calculate its rankings:

  1. Quality of education (15%) 
  2. Alumni employment (15%) 
  3. Quality of faculty (15%) 
  4. Research output (15%) 
  5. Quality publications (15%) 
  6. Influence (15%) 
  7. Citations (10%)

Read more about the methodology on the CWUR website

About the CWUR

CWUR's ranking has been published annually since 2012. It originated as part of a project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, that aimed to rate the top 100 world universities. In 2014, it was expanded to list the world's top 1,000 universities.

Since 2016, the Center for World University Rankings has been based in the United Arab Emirates.

Information correct as at 21 June 2018