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Cambridge overtakes Oxford as leading university of Britain

world Updated: Apr 18, 2011 20:03 IST

Cambridge has once again beaten Oxford to become the leading university of Britain, according to a league table published on Monday.

It was ranked top out of 116 universities in a guide rating institutions by measures such as student satisfaction, research, entry standards, spending on facilities, degree grades and job prospects.

Cambridge was also named as the best university for the quality of courses delivered in more than four-in-10 subject areas.

It is only the second time in 10 years that the university has overtaken Oxford in the annual league tables. The last time was in 2007.

According to researchers, Oxford maintained standards in most areas but was leapfrogged by its ancient rival following dramatic improvements in Cambridge’s student satisfaction ratings, entry grades and graduates’ career prospects.

Bernard Kingston, principal author of the guide, who has been producing the table for almost 15 years, said rises and falls in the rankings were largely driven by the recession.

"The employment market for graduates over the past year or so has been challenging and this is reflected in the rankings," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

"Some universities have been able to maintain their share of so-called graduate jobs, either because of their strong reputation among employers, or through the efforts they have made to overcome the effects of the recession.

"In other cases graduates are clearly trading down to find work in areas that are not defined as graduate employment," he added.