St John’s College, Oxford, is the Best Oxbridge College

Updated January 17, 2020 Updated January 17

Image credit: KathrynW1 on Flickr

St John’s College, Oxford, has been ranked as the best Oxbridge college by a new ranking in The Telegraph.

An Oxbridge education is seen as the gold standard of education in the UK, but debate has long reigned over which college has the most to offer.

This new ranking attempts to answer that question, by looking at certain key data as well as the opinions of recent graduates.

Of course, whichever college you attend you will still be getting a degree from one of the highest-ranked universities in the world (the University of Oxford is fourth and the University of Cambridge seventh in the most recent QS World University Rankings). Plus, you’ll even get longer holidays than at any other UK university!

Only two colleges from Cambridge are included in the Telegraph’s top 10, which can be seen below.

Oxbridge College League Table: Top 10

Rank

College

University

Score (max 40)

1

St John’s

Oxford

36.7

2

Trinity

Cambridge

35.9

3

Magdalen

Oxford

35.6

4

Christ Church

Oxford

35.5

5

Merton

Oxford

35.4

6

Queen’s

Oxford

35.3

7

Corpus Christi

Oxford

35.1

8

St John’s

Cambridge

35

9

Trinity

Oxford

34.1

10

University

Oxford

33.9


Why this matters

The universities of Oxford and Cambridge operate under a collegiate system, with students applying to a college of around 300 to 800 students rather than the university as a whole. The college you choose can have a huge impact on your university experience, both personal and academic, so it’s worth doing your research if you’re thinking of applying to Oxbridge.

This ranking assessed Oxbridge colleges across four key areas: financial assets, academic performance, lifestyle and accommodation. The individual areas are ranked on a scale of one to 10, and these are added together to achieve an overall score out of 40. It’s worth exploring the full results when deciding which college is the best fit for you.

Interestingly, different colleges came top for each of the ranking indicators. Trinity College Cambridge scored 10 for financial assets (the college owns more land than Queen Elizabeth II), while Oxford’s Merton College achieved a perfect score for academic performance.

Wadham College, Oxford, and Homerton College, Cambridge, scored full marks for Lifestyle and Accommodation respectively – but neither made it into the overall top 10.

Although St John’s didn’t come first in any of the four ranking indicators, it scored consistently highly across all areas and that’s why it’s ranked first overall. They score phenomenally well for financial assets, with net assets of £631.6 million and an endowment of £551.5 million – around £1 million of assets per student. The college is noted for its generosity, offering a huge range of scholarships, bursaries and grants.

Tom Ough, an alumnus of St John’s, told the Telegraph: “We had something like £250 a year to spend on books, we had travel grants and scholarships, and, if we fell on hard times, we could apply for emergency funding…fundamentally, St John’s generosity made my time at Oxford a whole lot easier. For others, it made their time at Oxford possible.”

This article was originally published in December 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020

UK
Written by

Julia is the Assistant Editor for TopUniversities, publishing articles for students and graduates across the world. A native Londoner, she holds an MSc in Marketing Strategy & Innovation from Cass Business School and a BA in Classical Studies & English from Newcastle University.

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