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Oxford tops Blighty university rankings

According to paper owned by Oxford graduate

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A well-known annual league table of British universities has been published today, and flies in the face of basic common sense by placing Oxford top. The Times Good University Guide is issued by the well-known London newspaper, whose reputation for impartiality has suffered ever since it was bought by billionaire media tyrant Rupert Murdoch - an Oxford graduate.

According to the Times' education editor:

Oxford has made it seven in a row as Britain’s top university in the latest edition of The Times Good University Guide, published today.

It stretched its lead marginally over its closest rival, Cambridge, helped by higher spending on student facilities, staffing levels and a larger proportion of students awarded at least a 2:1 degree. But Cambridge has the better record on research, entry standards and graduate destinations, enabling it to dominate the guide’s 61 subject tables ...

In other words, they have nicer canteens and more professors asleep in big armchairs at Oxford, and you're more likely to get a rubber-stamp 2:1 there. Somehow this trumps the mere facts of Cambridge students and profs being brainier and doing better, both at research and outside the garden of academe in real life. (With the exception of one specific career field - being owner of the Times - where Oxford leads).

As usual, Imperial College London - famous for producing enormous, thuggish rugby-playing physicists and engineers - came in third. Below that there were some mild upsets, with York and Lancaster surging strongly up the listings. The full chart can be seen here.

“Courses that are perceived to offer a clear career path are becoming increasingly popular," said Guide editor John O'Leary, adding that "some traditional academic subjects are struggling.”

Anyway. If there are any Reg readers out there who aren't yet old, bitter and twisted and are picking a university course this year - judging by the comments pages there can't be many of you - the very best of luck, and don't panic about it too much. It's difficult to avoid having a good time as a student, no matter what you study or where you study it. That's based on what little we can remember about it, anyway. ®

Full Disclosure: The author went to Cambridge himself, which has enabled him to have a glittering career grovelling through repellent muck for things which might blow up in his face - either literally in former days as a low-ranking government employee, or nowadays figuratively.

Little is known about the early lives of the ruthless media barons who control the Reg, but they are thought to have attended various unlisted establishments such as the Oop North Central Institute of Violent Beatings, and the East End Polytechnic of Proper Drubbings. They profess nothing but scorn for limp-wristed bow-tie-sporting Oxbridge media fops who don't even know they're born, and employ them only with great reluctance on the most parsimonious terms.

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