Golden triangle (universities)

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For other uses, see Golden Triangle.

The "golden triangle" is a group of elite universities located in the southern English cities of Cambridge, London and Oxford.[1]

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, ("Oxbridge"), form two corners of the triangle. The third is formed by Imperial College London, King's College London, the London School of Economics (LSE) and University College London (UCL), the latter three of which are colleges of the federal University of London.[2][3] The members of the triangle have among the highest research incomes of all British universities and collaborate closely through initiatives such as the G5,[4] SES-5,[5] Global Medical Excellence Cluster (GMEC)[6][7] and MedCity.[8]



University ARWU (2014)[9] QS (2014/15)[10] THES (2013/14)[11]
University of Cambridge 5 2 7
University of Oxford 9 5 2
Imperial College London 22 2 10
University College London 20 5 21
King's College London 59 16 38
London School of Economics 19 71 39


University Complete (2013)[12] Guardian (2013)[13] The Sunday Times (2013)[14] The Times (2013)[15]
University of Cambridge 1 1 1 2
University of Oxford 3 2 2 1
University College London 8 6 13 7
Imperial College London 4 13 8 4
King's College London 18 31 30 22
London School of Economics 2 3 6 3

Research income[edit]

Highest total research income for British universities (2012/13)[16]
University Research income (£,000)
1 University of Oxford 436,800
2 University College London 334,733
3 University of Cambridge 331,800
4 Imperial College London 329,500
5 University of Edinburgh 200,123
6 University of Manchester 199,622
7 King's College London 164,025
8 University of Leeds 128,554
9 University of Glasgow 128,090
10 University of Liverpool 124,600
London School of Economics 23,731

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Golden opportunities". Nature. 6 July 2005. : "No longer rivals, Oxford, Cambridge and London are now working towards a common goal — ensuring the 'golden triangle' becomes a global science hub."
    • "Oxbridge windfall". Times Higher Education. 4 August 1995. : "A large amount of the cash awarded to humanities postgraduates still goes to the "Golden Triangle" of Oxford, Cambridge and London, British Academy figures reveal."
    • Kershaw, Alison. "UK universities slip in rankings", The Independent, 4 October 2012: "Rankings editor Phil Baty said: "Outside the golden triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge, England's world-class universities face a collapse into global mediocrity."
  2. ^ For example:
    • For LSE, see two articles by Zoe Corbyn.
    • "In research, small is just as beautiful", Times Higher Education, 26 November 2009: "The findings reveal the full extent of the dominance of the golden triangle: papers from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and the London School of Economics were cited far more often than the world average," and
    • "'Golden triangle' to win funding riches", Times Higher Education, 11 February 2010: "The other institutions in the Cambridge-Oxford-London 'golden triangle' - University College London, Imperial College London and the London School of Economics - will also receive big cash windfalls, as will the University of Manchester."
  3. ^ Jha, Alok. "Gold rush", The Guardian, 3 June 2003: "The golden triangle of Oxford, Cambridge, University College London and Imperial College, show no sign of slowing down in their race away from the rest of the sector when it comes to research funding."
    • OECD Reviews of Regional Innovation OECD Reviews of Regional Innovation, North of England, UK, OECD, 2008, p. 222: "The "Golden Triangle" of ... the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Imperial College and University College of London ..."
    • Mullins, Justin. "England's golden triangle", New Scientist, 23 April 2005: "Take a look at any of the various league tables ranking universities around the world ... Oxford and Cambridge are in the top handful, while London's University College and Imperial College sit comfortably in the top 25. ... London, Oxford and Cambridge are a 'golden triangle' of academic success."
    • Clark, Paul. "The golden triangle holds the secret", Times Higher Education, 1 March 2002: "Suppose, for the sake of argument, that the four institutions comprising the 'golden triangle' - Cambridge, Imperial College, Oxford and University College London - elect not to receive their block Higher Education Funding Council for England grant for teaching."
    • That the golden triangle consists of Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College, see The future sustainability of the higher education sector, House of Commons, Education and Skills Committee, The Stationery Office, 2007, p. 241.
  4. ^ "Super elite in secret bid for cash boost". Times Higher Education. 6 February 2004. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Research heavyweights deny 'ganging up'". Times Higher Education. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "GMEC"
  7. ^ "Collaborate and listen, The Guardian, Tuesday 19 December 2006"
  8. ^ "MedCity launched to promote South East's science 'golden triangle'". BBC News. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities - 2014". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "QS World Rankings 2014/15" QS. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  11. ^ "THES World Rankings 2013" THE. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Top UK University League Tables and Rankings 2013". Complete University Guide. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  13. ^ "University guide 2013: University league table". The Guardian. 21 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "University Guide". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 30 September 2012. (subscription required)
  15. ^ "The Times Good University Guide 2013". The Good University Guide. Retrieved 26 June 2011. (subscription required)
  16. ^ "Wealth check: Financial data for UK higher education institutions, 2010–11University financial health check 2014". Times Higher Education. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014.