Universities should be ranked on the success of their poorer students in gaining professional jobs after graduating, a report has recommended.
Government policy has focused too narrowly on increasing the number of socially disadvantaged students in universities while neglecting to take into account how well they fare after leaving, a study has found.
The report for the CentreForum think-tank said students from poorer backgrounds often lacked social networks used by richer students to gain internships, training places and professional jobs after graduating.
The proposed index - which measures employment success six months after graduating - places UCL School of Pharmacy in London in first place for the success of less advantaged students in gaining jobs.
With University College Plymouth, St Mark and St John in second place out of 153 higher education institutions.
Ravensbourne, in south-east London, University Campus Suffolk and Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, Lancashire, are ranked in third, fourth and fifth place respectively, using the index.
Oxford and Cambridge universities - where many students go on to do further study and are therefore not classified as having a professional job - rank low on the scorings with Cambridge placed 135th and Oxford in 152nd place.