A new YouGov Omnibus survey reveals that Oxford is far more likely than Cambridge to be seen as the UK’s most prestigious university.
Asked which university they believe deserves that accolade, four in ten Brits (41%) awarded it to Oxford, compared to just 23% for Cambridge. A further 7% of Brits opted for “some other university”, while the remaining 30% answered “don’t know”.
The results are broadly similar across all sections of society. Only among 18-24 year olds are the results radically different, with Oxford on 29% to Cambridge’s 28%.
Graduates are more likely to rate Cambridge as the better of the two universities – although Oxford still wins by 39% to 27% (and 10% for other institutions).
Scots are the most likely to have answered “some other university”, at 15% – perhaps being more likely to consider a Scottish institution like the University of Edinburgh.
Ben Glanville, Head of YouGov Omnibus UK, said: “Together Oxford and Cambridge universities are seen as the pinnacle of UK higher education excellence on both a national and international level, and the pair are often treated like a single entity. However, our results do show that people do favour one over the other in terms of prestige.
Ironically, in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings Cambridge has always placed higher than Oxford on their reputation measure (although Oxford has consistently been judged better overall).”