The European universities with the best teaching and learning environments


The ranking measures student engagement and outcomes, the diversity of institutions’ learning environments, and the resources that universities have to teach effectively.

Photo: Exeter College Chapel / David Iliff

The University of Oxford is the number one university for teaching and learning, according to a new ranking released by the Times Higher Education that focuses on institutions’ teaching and learning environments. 

The Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings, a pilot ranking published by the London-based magazine, is based on the results of a student engagement survey of more than 30,000 university students. 

Besides student engagement, the ranking also measured student outcomes, the diversity of institutions’ learning environments, and the resources that universities have to teach effectively, according to the press release. The results of the ranking "suggest that while some famous research powerhouses excel on teaching, many less familiar institutions are providing the best learning environments for students."

The methodology of the ranking was based on 13 individual performance indicators that were grouped into four key areas: 

1. Engagement: how well the institution effectively engage with its students
2. Resources: does the institution have the capacity to effectively deliver teaching?
3. Outcomes: does the institution generate appropriate outputs for students?
4. Environment: is the teaching and learning environment inclusive?

Only eight countries feature in the ranking: UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland. The UK dominated the table claiming 100 of the 242 places, followed by Spain with 42 institutions, led by the University of Navarra at eighth place. The third country most represented was Germany occupying 31 places led by the  Heidelberg University at the 26th place.

Top 20 European universities for teaching and learning

1     University of Oxford (United Kingdom)

2    University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

3    Sorbonne University (France)

4    University of Warwick (United Kingdom)

5    UCL (United Kingdom)

6    University of Bristol (United Kingdom)

7    University of Manchester (United Kingdom)

8    University of Navarra (Spain)

9    Newcastle University / University of York (United Kingdom) *tie

11    Imperial College London / University of Sheffield (United Kingdom) *tie

13    King’s College London (United Kingdom)

14    University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)

15    University of St Andrews (United Kingdom)

16    Lancaster University (United Kingdom)

17    Paris-Sud University (France)

18    University of Nottingham (United Kingdom)

19    University of Barcelona (Spain)

20    Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain)


For more information about the THE Europe Teaching Rankings 2018 methodology visit the Times Higher Education site