The University of Oxford is rated as the UK's best university in the Guardian University Ranking 2011, followed by Cambridge (No. 2 ) and Warwick (No. 3). Universities are ranked according to teaching excellence, while scoring criteria include student satisfaction, career prospects, spend per student and staff-student ratio.

Lancaster University has strengthened its position as one of the UK's leading universities, moving up ten places to 6th position. It is the highest ranked university in Northern England.

The University of Bath is ranked 13th out of 118 universities and colleges in the UK. Additionally it is rated fourth in the UK for career prospects with 79 per cent of students going on to a graduate-level job or full-time further study within six months of graduation.

The University of Kent is placed within the UK's top thirty universities, ranked at number 27 (up 18 places from last year). In addition three quarters of Kent's 28 subjects are ranked within the national top 30. The University achieved a top 10 position in the country for four subjects including Social Work (7th), Economics (9th), Anthropology (10th) and American Studies (10th).

The University of Sussex has risen to 15th place (from 18th in the 2010 league table), making it the top university in the South East outside London. Sussex also made significant improvement in other university league tables 2011: Times (from 35th to 21st), and The Independent (from 25th to 19th).

The Top 20 Universities in the UK:
1 Oxford
2 Cambridge
3 Warwick
4 St Andrews
6 Lancaster
7 Imperial College
8 London School of Economics
9 Loughborough
9 York
12 Leicester
13 Bath
14 Exeter
15 Edinburgh
15 Sussex
17 Durham
18 Southampton
19 UEA
20 Surrey

Source: Guardian 2011

* Suggested Reading:

Independent League Table 2011

Student Experience Survey 2011

Sunday Times University Ranking 2011

World University Ranking Tables

America - US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, BusinessWeek
Canada - Maclean's, Gourman Report Ranking of Canadian Universities
UK - Sunday Times, Guardian, Times Good University Guide, Daily Telegraph
World - Shanghai Jiao Tong ARWU Rankings, Webometrics, Newsweek
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