London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has climbed up to second place in the latest university league table.
The Complete University Guide 2013 saw LSE rise from fourth place to become the highest ranked university in the capital – finishing just behind Cambridge and above Oxford nationally.
LSE was also ranked as the best British university for Accounting and Finance, Economics and Social Policy, as it finished in the top 10 across the UK for all of the 12 subjects it offers.
The table creates an overall ranking for 116 universities based on: research, graduate prospects, entry standards, spend on facilities, spend on academic services, good honours degrees, student to staff ratio, student satisfaction and completion rates.
The London-based institution also finished joint first for research along with Cambridge and Oxford.
Professor Janet Hartley, pro director for teaching and learning, at LSE said: “We are pleased that LSE is highly regarded in so many areas, including both teaching and research quality.
“The School puts a lot of energy and investment into the student experience as well as making sure we keep producing some of the very best social science research in the world.”
A spokesman for LSE pointed out that continued success across a number of categories had boosted the university over the last 12 months.
“Our student satisfaction ratings went up last year, the entry standards also increased and our graduate employment prospects have remained strong, despite the recession,” he said.
Hartley explained that although it can be a stressful time waiting for tables like this to be published, positive feedback like LSE has received makes it all worth it.
She added: “We are also delighted that so many of our students go on to the rewarding jobs which they deserve. Although league tables come with a health warning, it is always nice to be appreciated.”
There could be a few raised eyebrows across the country over LSE pipping Oxford to second place, but Dr Bernard Kingston, principal author of the guide, says its more focused curriculum has made a difference.
“LSE teaches 12 of the subjects looked at. It is in the top 10 of every one of those subjects and is at the top of the table of three of them. Oxford teaches 32 of these subjects, it is in the top 10 for 32 of them and is in top place in 12 of them,” he said.
Although Kingston believes the exact order at the top of the table should be treated with discretion, he said the top three universities had all performed very well.
Kingston said: “What is beyond dispute is that all three institutions – Cambridge, the London School of Economics and Oxford – are outstanding in their fields.
“The LSE’s range of disciplines is less broad than Oxford’s and it has a better record for graduate prospects.”
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