The QS world uni rankings have placed Cambridge second worldwide, and top in the UK, leaving Oxford in the dust in fifth place.
Cambridge is the second best university on the planet and number one in the UK, according to the 2012 QS World University Rankings.
Of the league table’s top ten universities, four are in the UK, including UCL, Oxford and Imperial. The other top 10 institutions are in the United States.
In a surprising turn of events, UCL has been ranked fourth ahead of Oxford’s fifth place, with Imperial in sixth.
Eamon Jubbawy, a third year Economics and Management student at Oxford, said: “Frankly, I couldn’t care less. The very notion of a university ranking system is nonsensical, since people don’t make general applications to a whole university; they apply for a specific position at a specific college for a specific course.
“Any ranking vaguer than that doesn’t mean much to me.”
Cambridge’s top spot was snatched this year by the relatively young first-time winner the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), founded in 1861, ending our two-year reign as QS’s best university in the world.
After a summer of Olympic sport, Brits have become used to finishing behind the Americans. But we still beat Harvard, another previous winner of the accolade, which ranks third.
Ben Quarry, a third-year lawyer from Selwyn, told The Tab: “I’m always curious as to how they determine who’s top. It all seems a bit random, changing most years, but we’re normally there or thereabouts.”
“At least we’re still the best in the UK”.
Eight of the league table’s top 50 institutions are from the UK and a total of 18 in the top 100.
QS rankings are calculated by totalling a score out of 100 for six criteria: academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty-to-student ratio, international proportion of faculty and international proportion of students.
A noticeable trend among QS’ top universities is the increased admittance of international students, possibly as a result of cuts to university funding.
The top 100 admitted around 10% more in 2012 compared to 2011. LSE, Imperial, SOAS and UCL were among the UK universities with the highest proportion of international students.