Universities in the North East are climbing the rankings in the latest guide.
Newcastle and Northumbria universities both rose in the table by TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk, while Durham University retained its number five position for another year.
Newcastle University soared through the ranks to take a Top 20 place for the first time in the guide which was made public today.
The university is up two places at 20th position for 2015 – its highest ever ranking.
In separate tables covering subject areas, Newcastle was in the top ten for 16 of its 38 subjects, topping the table for Aural and Oral Studies.
Newcastle University also ranks at 18 in The Sunday Times 2013 University Guide.
Newcastle University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chris Brink, said: “Our position in the Top 20 is a reflection of our global ambitions and the investments we are making in our research, teaching and facilities.
“Whilst league tables should not be used in isolation, and the criteria on which each ranking is based should be kept in mind, collectively they offer potential students a useful guide to the UK university system.”
Northumbria University is 58th in the table, up six places, and was in the top ten for six of its subjects.
Professor Andrew Wathey, the university’s vice-chancellor and chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be the North East’s most improved university after climbing six places.
“This performance reflects Northumbria’s position as one of the top 10 universities in the UK for the number of graduates entering professional employment, alongside our increasing ability to attract highly qualified students who achieve academic success while they are here.”
In separate tables covering 67 subjects, Durham was in the top ten nationally for all of the 31 it offers, topping the table in eight – English, French, German, History, Iberian Languages, Middle Eastern and African Studies, Sports Science, and Theology and Religious Studies.
The Complete University Guide league tables have been compiled for more than 16 years and since 2007 they have appeared online.
The main table is based on nine measures: student satisfaction, research assessment, entry standards, student: staff ratio; spending on academic services; spending on student facilities; good honours degrees achieved; graduate prospects and completion.
Cambridge again heads the ranking of 123 UK universities, with Oxford in second place and the London School of Economics and Political Science third. The University of Sunderland climbed two places to 108th.
Dr Bernard Kingston, principal author of TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk, said: “The league tables, taken with the rankings for specific subjects, offer would-be students an accurate and independent guide to the UK university system.
“They should not be used in isolation but alongside all the other advice and information in the guide. Its tables are recognised for their stability and consistency, and this year once again demonstrates this.
“Many of the changes this year are attributable to changes in definitions and weighting.
“There was an official and fundamental review of the staff record data between the two years, while the old distinction between graduate and non-graduate employment has been replaced by one between professional and non-professional employment.”