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2020-11-11 00:00:39

Who makes the rankings of UK schools and universities?

Who makes the rankings of UK schools and universities?

Let's talk about the most authoritative rankings of universities and schools in Britain, which you can rely on when choosing an educational institution.


Who makes the ratings of schools in Britain - 3 respected ratings

National rating of schools Best-schools

The Internet portal makes a rating of schools, the main criterion is the results of internal exams. On the portal, you can find a variety of lists, for example, "Best Schools for Boys / Girls" or TOP-20 boarding schools in Britain. TOP 10 best private schools based on A-Level results:

  1. Oxford International College
  2. Cardiff Sixth Form College
  3. St paul's girls' school
  4. Westminster School
  5. Concord College
  6. Magdalen College School
  7. St Paul's School
  8. Ruthin School
  9. Winchester College
  10. City of London School for Boys.

The Telegraph - List of Schools by Exam Results

The British edition of The Telegraph annually compiles ratings of schools based on the results of the main exams for English schoolchildren - GCSE and A-Level. You can participate in the rating if you wish - the schools independently send an application with exam results and tuition fees. Every year, the publication compares more than 2 thousand schools in the country.

Smapse Education - top schools for foreign students

Smapse is the largest company in Europe organizing training abroad for international students. The accumulated experience, customer reviews and data on the results of graduation points allow the company to compile a reliable list of the best schools and universities in Britain for foreign students. TOP best schools in Britain for foreign students in 2020 from Smapse:

  1. Queen Ethelburga's College
  2. Sidcot School
  3. Abbey DLD College London
  4. The National Mathematics and Science College NMSC Warwick
  5. Abbey College Cambridge
  6. Cardiff Sixth Form College
  7. Lucton School
  8. CATS College London
  9. ACS Cobham International School
  10. Stonar School 

3 national university rankings: Complete University Guide, Guardian, Times

Print media play an important role in the life of the British, who receive useful and reliable information from sources, including about the quality of education in the kingdom. In Britain, the following publications make up the annual university rankings - The Complete University Guide, The Guardian, The Times and The Sunday Times.

The main goal of the publications is to provide transparent information about British universities for potential applicants from all over the world. The ratings are based on a wide range of criteria:

  • Entry Requirements
  • The ratio of the number of teachers to the number of students
  • Conditions of education
  • Research activity level
  • Graduate level
  • The demand for specialists after graduation and others.

Since 2008, Times Higher Education has compiled a list of ratings from three major publications. In 2021, the TOP-5 universities of the country included:

  1. The place is shared by the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford
  2. University of St Andrews
  3. London School of Economics
  4. Durham University 

Complete University Guide

The list of universities is compiled by the agency Mayfield University Consultants, the first edition was published in 2007.

10 criteria are taken into account:

  • Academic services (score 0.5)
  • Number of students earning a degree (1.0)
  • Entry Standards (1.0)
  • Faculty and equipment of the university (0.5)
  • Student performance (1.0)
  • Demand for graduates in the labor market (1.0)
  • Quality, scope of research (1.0)
  • Number of personnel involved in research (0.5)
  • Student satisfaction (1.5)
  • The ratio of 1 teacher to the number of students (1.0).

British Universities Ranking by Complete University Guide-2021

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

In addition to the classic rating, the publication compiles tops in individual subjects: they allow you to find out the best faculties of the country in a specific specialty.

The Times / The Sunday Times

The publication is rating according to 8 criteria:

  • Student satisfaction (50-55 points)
  • Teaching quality (250)
  • University Leadership (100)
  • Research Level (200)
  • Competition for places (250)
  • The number of students who did not find a job after graduation six months later (100).


The Guardian rating is based on 9 criteria, "weighted" and rated from 5% to 15%. Unlike other tops, the publication does not take into account the scale of research. 9 criteria Guardian:

  • Entry Requirements (15%)
  • Assessment and effectiveness of educational activities (10%)
  • Career prospects (15%)
  • Student satisfaction (5%)
  • Financial expenses per student (5%)
  • Student to faculty ratio (15%)
  • Teaching quality (10%)
  • Continuing education (10%)
  • “Added value” (15%).

TOP-10 universities according to Guardian-2021

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

International ratings

The Sunday Times notes that some of the best universities in Britain are ranked rather low on the international top. Conversely, UK universities that are not in the national top 10 perform best in global rankings. This difference is related to the selection criteria and objectives. International rankings focus on the effectiveness of educational institutions in the international environment - the number of citations in the world, how international the composition of teachers and students is, what role do scientific discoveries of universities play for the international community.

The most popular international rating is compiled by the British agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Analyst firm Alexa Internet calls QS the most viewed ranking in the world. The research of the best universities is based on the following criteria:

  • The ratio of the number of students to the number of teachers (20%)
  • Citations (20%)
  • Reputation with employers (10%)
  • Academic score (40%)
  • Number of foreign students (5%)
  • The number of foreign teachers (5%).

TOP-10 universities in the world QS-2020

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( USA )
  2. Stanford University (USA)
  3. Harvard University (USA)
  4. California Institute of Technology (USA)
  5. University of Oxford (UK)
  6. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich ( Switzerland )
  7. University of Cambridge (UK)
  8. Imperial College London (UK)
  9. University of Chicago (USA)
  10. University College London (UK).

Ranking of British universities for foreign students from Smapse Education

The largest company in Europe for the organization of education abroad cooperates with more than 4000 educational institutions in the world, including prestigious universities in Britain. A wealth of experience and expertise is at the heart of the rating on the Smapse portal, which is designed specifically for international students.

TOP 10 best universities in Britain:

  1. Cambridge University
  2. University of Oxford
  3. LSE London School of Economics and Political Science
  4. De Montfort University
  5. London Business School (LBS)
  6. University College London - UCL
  7. Imperial College London
  8. University of Warwick
  9. King`s College London University of London
  10. Durham University.
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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