The University of Oxford has been knocked off the top of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

It ranked second, with the University of St Andrews displacing Oxford and Cambridge off the top spot for the second time in the guide’s 30-year history. 

Last year was the first time in 12 years that Oxford returned to the top although it has always been in the top three.

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Despite being moved from the top stop nationally, Oxford did rank first in the South East category.

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide ranks the universities across the country based on various factors, including graduate employment and teaching quality.

The Times and The Sunday Times have produced university guides since 1993 and 1998 respectively.

The Good University Guide includes profiles on 134 universities, making use of the latest data.

Helen Davies, editor of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said:  “The higher education landscape has never been tougher.

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"It is more competitive to get a place at many of our top institutions; the cost of attending university has soared, leaving graduates with extraordinary debt.

"In many cases campus life still bears the scars of the pandemic. Meanwhile lecturers are on strike and the marking crisis is a running scandal.  

“It means any prospective student, parent or carer needs to think hard about whether university is the right choice, and then where to study and what subject. It’s where this guide — our 30th edition — is here to help.

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"Our online version has so much more on how the universities compare subject by subject, a guide on campus life, and what scholarships and bursaries may be on offer.  

“We are here to champion the ambitious work of our first-class universities, and the aspirations of any student of any age who wants to keep on learning.” 

The list is based on an analysis of student satisfaction with teaching quality and their student experience, entry standards, research quality, and graduate prospects.

Since 2018 the guide also includes social inclusion rankings for universities in England and Wales, with a separate table for Scottish rankings.

A fully searchable website with 70 subject tables, full interactive tables and additional features goes online on The Times and The Sunday Times on Friday, September 15. 

A 96-page supplement will be published with The Sunday Times on September 17.

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