Higher Education R.O.I: Which are the Best Value Universities in the Country?

As thousands of prospective students are gearing up for a summer full of university open-days and UCAS applications, Expert Market has compiled a list of the best value universities in the country to help school leavers on their way.

A Unique Study

With tuition fees climbing and living costs rising, the cost of attending university is important to consider. Equally important though, is the way a university prepares its students for the world of work. That’s why Expert Market have conducted a study that looks at both. The report is unique in its consideration of both the costs and benefits of attending each university. We cross-referenced cost and expense data such as tuition fees, accommodation costs and even the price of a local pint, with the income and opportunities that students will enjoy after graduating from every university in the UK. Expert Market applied a weighted ranking to each factor and the results reveal which universities give students the best return on their investment.

Loughborough Leads the Way

Known for its sporting prowess and enviable nightlife, students at Loughborough University can now enjoy their studies knowing they are attending the best value university in the country. Loughborough had a winning combination of low living costs and excellent graduate prospects. Interestingly, Cambridge and Oxford failed to make the top 10 best value universities. Despite ranking extremely highly for graduate prospects, both are expensive places to live and study. Outside of London, Oxford is the most expensive place to rent university accommodation (£6,816 per year) and so dropped to 52nd in our ranking. In 12th place, Cambridge fared slightly better, but still proved too expensive to make the top 10.

North Trumps South

The 10 best value places to study are made up primarily of northern and midland universities – though the University of Bath is a notable exception. In 8th place, the University of Bath scores highly in for graduate prospects which balances out its moderately high living costs. Students looking for a good value place to study should stay clear of London universities. None of the capital’s institutions made our top 20. In 21st place, St. George’s University of London tops the London list. As a medical school, the graduate prospects for students here are some of the best in the country, which helps to counteract the high costs of living and studying in London

The Top 10 Universities

Best Value Universities

The Best of The Rest: Where Does Your University Rank?

Loughborough University1st
Keele University2nd
University of Warwick3rd
Newcastle University4th
Cardiff University5th
University of Nottingham6th
University of St. Andrews7th
University of Bath8th
Swansea University9th
University of Dundee10th
University of Southampton11th
University of Cambridge12th
University of Manchester13th
Durham University14th
University of Exeter15h
Lancaster University16th
University of Kent17th
University of Sussex18th
The Robert Gordon University19th
Harper Adams University20th
St. George’s, University of London21st
University of Sheffield22nd
University of Birmingham23rd
University of Surrey24th
University of Huddersfield25th
University of Glasgow26th
Aston University27th
University of Hull28th
University of Cumbria29th
University of Leicester30th
King’s College London31st
University of East Anglia (UEA)32nd
University of Strathclyde33rd
University of Aberdeen34th
University of Leeds35th
University of Edinburgh36th
University of Bristol37th
University of York38th
Northumbria University39th
Abertay University40th
University of Liverpool41st
Heriot-Watt University42nd
De Montfort University43rd
Imperial College London44th
University of Reading45th
Glyndŵr University46th
University of Hertfordshire47th
University of Essex48th
Royal Agricultural University49th
Leeds Trinity University50th
Edge Hill University51st
University of Oxford52nd
Queen’s University Belfast53rd
University College London (UCL)54th
University of Lincoln55th
University of Northampton56th
Sheffield Hallam University57th
Edinburgh Napier University58th
University of Portsmouth59th
Bangor University60th