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Oxford named top university in the South East by the Times

Oxford is the top university in the South East according to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022, following the same recognition in the 2021 list. The University of St Andrews has displaced Oxford and Cambridge off the top spot for the first time in the guide’s 30 year history. Oxford sits in second place nationally thanks to the determination of the university to become more socially inclusive. The 2020 intake reflected the new dynamic with 68.4% of the expanded number of admissions coming from state schools. This has had a direct impact on undergraduate opportunities and the student experience.

Elsewhere, the University of Surrey was recognised as the University of the Year for Graduate Employment. It is one of only two universities to avoid a decline in student satisfaction scores throughout the pandemic, the other being Imperial College London. This is partly due to the professional training placements of up to a year that are offered on most degrees through a network of 2,300 national and international businesses.

And the University of Sussex has won University of the Year for Student Retention award. Sussex has more than 14,000 full-time undergraduates, and in the latest figures the dropout rate is less than half the expected level, 5% against a benchmark of 10.1%.

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022  provides the definitive rankings for UK universities and the most comprehensive overview of higher education in Britain. It includes profiles on 132 universities, making use of the latest data published in the past two months.

After a year of closed campuses and a move to online learning, the new edition of the Good University Guide reveals most universities have seen a dramatic drop in student satisfaction and teaching quality scores in the latest National Student Survey.

A fully searchable website with 70 subject tables, full interactive tables and additional features goes online today on The Times and The Sunday Times.

Top Universities in South East 

Regional rankUniversityNational rankLast year’s national rank2021 National student survey teaching quality (%)


2021 National student survey student experience (%)Graduate prospects

(% in professional jobs or graduate-level study)

Completion rate


1University of Oxford22n/an/a89.299.1
2University of Southampton1615=75.871.876.093.2
3University of Surrey323977.176.381.589.3
4University of Reading3431=72.068.376.591.4
5University of Kent464874.570.468.288.2
6University of Sussex474471.667.768.292.2
7University of Chichester5046=80.576.362.986.4
8Oxford Brookes University545670.967.074.790.7
9University for the Creative Arts697176.665.151.084.5
10University of Portsmouth887272.866.568.283.5
11University of Buckingham89=10879.073.487.185.0
12University of Hertfordshire96=9974.670.269.482.0
13University of Winchester106=9672.565.363.784.4
14University of Northampton108=11172.264.469.379.2
15Solent University112=9376.068.859.176.2
16University of Brighton11712069.159.371.682.8
17=Buckinghamshire New University119=112=75.868.264.673.1
17=Canterbury Christ Church University119=12773.362.970.477.3
18University of Bedfordshire13213174.067.666.253.1



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