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Top 10 Universities in the UK

Planning to study for a degree in the UK? Read this article for information on some of the finest universities in the UK.

Antony Chacko

The University College London was the first educational institution to admit both men and women on equal standing. M.K. Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and Christopher Nolan are part of the Uni's legacy.

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There are close to about half a million Indian students studying at Universities in the UK at any given point of time. And who wouldn’t want to study in a place that can confidently boast of having some of the oldest and most prestigious Universities in the world dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. So putting aside the educational history of the country, why are Indian students attracted to western education?

As a matter of fact why do most students from developing countries turn to the west for education? The answer to this question might be obvious, as education in developing countries might be plagued with concerns such as inadequate or ineffective education system or the corruption that it is supposedly associated with it. If you find that the term “Mandatory Donation”, which is used ever so often, is simply ludicrous and the best example of a ridiculous oxymoron, then you are one of the half million students who would prefer to spend good money on quality schooling. Nevertheless, at the risk of pointing fingers, an education abroad definitely makes for an impressive resume.

So let us take a look at some of the best Universities out there in the UK. This is the top 10 Universities, according to The Complete University Guide 2014.

1. University of Cambridge

The main fight for top position is between Cambridge and Oxford; the two have stayed in top positions ever since University ranking systems came into existence. Oxford and Cambridge share a similar style of teaching and to the rest of the world; it is commonly called the “Oxbridge” style.

Established in 1209, it was started by a group of scholars who left the University of Oxford, after a conflict with the local townsfolk and started the University of Cambridge. Cambridge has educated 65 Noble Prize winners, which is the highest number of winners to come out of any University.

The University is no stranger to having some “star-studded” personalities in its former academics and alumni. Some of them include, Sir Isaac Newton, Srinivasa Ramanujan (Inventor of Modern Calculus), Charles Darwin, Charles Babbage (designed the world’s first computing system), Stephen Hawking, 50 Olympic Athletes, 15 British Prime Ministers and 23 other Heads of Government including Prime Ministers of India. The University of Cambridge is currently ranked seventh in the world according to the Times Higher Education Ranking.

2. University of Oxford

This is a University that requires no introduction. Although the date it was established is unknown, there is evidence that it dates as far back as 1096. Almost every year Oxford ranks in the top three institutions in the world across all ranking associations, and though thousands could only dream of an education here, the institution has extensively contributed in many ways, the betterment of mankind. Oxford has educated 26 British Prime Ministers, about 30 other international leaders, 12 saints and 20 Archbishops of Canterbury.

3. London School of Economics

The London School of Economics was founded in the year 1895 and George Bernard Shaw was one of its founders. Located in Westminster, Central London, the school primarily focuses on social sciences. The Times Higher Education currently ranked the London School of Economics 32nd amongst educational institutions all over the world. Some notable alumni include, John F Kennedy, B R Ambedkar, K R Narayanan to name a few. In addition, former British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee was part of the academic staff at the school from 1912 to 1923.

4. Imperial College London

Located in London, it is one of the finest institutions the UK has to offer, all 525,233 square meters of it. Specialising in Science, Technology and Medicine, it has produced 14 Noble Prize winners and two Fields Medal winners. Imperial’s origins can be traced back to the 15th century and was originally affiliated to the federal University of London, but however became fully independent in the year 2007. The Times Higher Education Rankings placed Imperial 10th in the entire world.

5. Durham University

Located in Durham, the University is a public research University that was founded in the year 1832 and is the third oldest University in England. Durham University has many notable alumni that have made noteworthy contributions in fields such as government, law, science, academia, business, arts, journalism and athletics. Durham is currently ranked 80th in the world by the Times Higher Education Ranking.

6. University of St Andrews

St Andrews, established in the year 1413, is the first University in Scotland and third oldest in the English Speaking world. Named after the Catholic said, Andrew the Apostle, St Andrews is also known worldwide as the home of golf. St Andrews’ boasts of a prestigious list of members in their alumni including, King James II of Scotland, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and many more.

7. University College London

The University College London was established in the year 1826, was the first educational institution to admit both men and women on equal standing. The University has produced 26 Nobel Prize winners and other people who have made significant contributions in the worlds of engineering, music, cinema, television and government. The list is some of the world’s most elite including, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Alexander Graham Bell, Ricky Gervais (Comedian / Actor), all members of the band Coldplay, Christopher Nolan (director of The Dark Knight trilogy), Jonathan Ross (television presenter) and David Gower (former captain of the England cricket team). UCL is currently ranked 21st in the world by the Times Higher Education in 2014.

8. University of Warwick

The University of Warwick, contrary to popular belief is not located in Warwick, but in Coventry and was established in the year 1965. The University is divided into four faculties; Arts, Medicine, Science, and Social Science and is a public research University. The University’s most notable alumni is Sting, a musician/vocalist and former member of the band, The Police, who completed one term at the University of Warwick.

9. University of Bath

The University of Bath has a little over a hundred years of experience educating some of the brightest minds in the country. The University’s major academic strengths have been in subjects such as electronic and electrical engineering, physical sciences, technology and mathematics. Bath has educated quite a few political heads around the world, some of who are: Yang Jiechi (foreign minister of the People’s Republic of China), TS Krishnamurthy (former Chief Election Commissioner of India), Mansoor Hekmat (Iranian Communist Leader) and many more.

10. Lancaster University

Located in Lancashire, Lancaster University is known for its intense research culture. The University is comparatively young as it was established in the year 1964; but nevertheless came in 11th place for its research quality amongst institutions in the UK. The Times Higher Education ranked the university 137th amongst other educational institutions in the world. 


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You can also check out an article on the Top 10 Universities in Australia for 2014.



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