Belfast Telegraph

Queen's University still tops class here despite UK ranking slide

By Claire Williamson

Queen's University Belfast is still Northern Ireland's top university, but has fallen again in UK rankings.

The Complete University Guide 2015 league table published today reveals Queen's has fallen to 31st place in the national rankings.

This is a slip from 29th place last year and 25th in the 2013 league table.

Queen's maintained its lead over the University of Ulster which was one of 10 universities to fall by 10 or more places.

Ulster slipped to 84th place, which is down from its 74th position last year and from 60th in the 2013 rankings.

Cambridge University again heads the ranking of the 123 UK universities.

It was followed by Oxford in second place with the London School of Economics and Political Science taking third place.

The league table revealed that while the top 10 remains unchanged compared with last year, there are some new entries within the top 20.

The universities of Southampton and Newcastle entered at number 16 and 20 while Edinburgh and King's dropped out. In separate listings for the leading universities and higher education institutions covering 67 subjects, Queen's University appears in the national top 10 listing for five of the 42 subjects it offers.

The University of Ulster is listed in six top 10s out of the 41 subjects it offers but failed to hold on to the leading position it occupied for Complementary Medicine in the 2014 tables.

The principal author of the Complete University Guide, Dr Bernard Kingston, said: "The league tables, taken with the rankings for specific subjects, offer would-be students an accurate and independent guide to the UK university system.

"They should not be used in isolation but alongside all the other advice and information in the guide. Its tables are recognised for their stability and consistency, and this year once again demonstrates this.

"Many of the changes this year are attributable to changes in definitions and weighting.

"There was an official and fundamental review of the staff record data between the two years, while the old distinction between graduate and non-graduate employment has been replaced by one between professional and non-professional employment."

He added: "In addition, the weighting of both spending measures used has been halved (from 1.0 to 0.5)."

Director of the guide, Nova Jayne Robinson, said: "Once again, the guide is first to give university applicants reliable and comprehensive information on which to base one of the most important choices of their lives."

The data for the rankings has been derived from official sources and is meticulously checked directly with the universities to create an independent and authoritative league table designed to match applicants' needs.

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