Cambridge tops rankings despite falling subject performance

Olly Hudson 26 May 2015

Cambridge has come top of this year’s Guardian higher education rankings, beating Oxford and St Andrews into second and third places.

This is the fifth year running that Cambridge has come top of the Guardian rankings, however closer analysis of the figures show more concerning trends in a number of subjects.

Subject-by-subject analysis show sharp falls in the performance of Music and Philosophy. Music has fallen seven places to twelfth in the UK from last year, while Philosophy has fallen from first place to fifth in the same timeframe.

The fall in Music appears to be the result of a drop in career prospects for graduates after six months as well as a rise in the staff to student ratio, up from 16.9 to 17 this year.

Other subjects to see a fall in this year’s tables include Architecture, Economics, Geography, Maths, Theology, and Anthropology.

Subjects claiming the top spot across the UK include Modern and Medieval Languages, Law, History, Engineering and Medicine.

One student welcomed the results: “We might not be winning at the boat race but we are where it matters.”

However, the University has recently faced criticism from students over its heavy workload and pressured environment, concerns which have seen the revitalising of the campaign for a reading week to counter so-called ‘Week Five blues’.

One first-year MML student told TCS: “The University’s focus on rigorous academia creates an achievement culture in which it’s somehow generally acceptable that studying here will very likely endanger students’ welfare.”