Manchester Metropolitan, Manchester and Leeds had the highest rates of crimes against students at universities outside London, according to a new guide.
The Complete University Guide lists 103 institutions in terms of burglary, robbery and violent crimes including sex crimes - offences it says are most likely to affect students.
The guide claims an estimated one-third of students become victims of crime, mainly theft and burglary, and about 20% of student robberies happen in the first six weeks of the academic year.
The Universities of Buckingham, Aberystwyth and Durham topped the list with the lowest overall crime rate.
Universities in London dominated the bottom end, filling the worst 18 places, with London Metropolitan, King’s College and South Bank University making up the bottom three.
Previously, the guide focused on cities with two or more universities, but expanded this year to include them all for England and Wales.
Dr Bernard Kingston, the guide’s founder, said it uses police crime statistics for crimes affecting all victims in council wards within three miles of a university’s main campus because no specific statistics for crimes against students are available.
”Our new methodology allows potential students to assess the risks for individual institutions with much greater precision, at least for England and Wales,” he said.
”In the absence of data for crimes affecting university students specifically, either on or off campuses, they offer the best available guide.
”But it would be reassuring for university applicants and their parents if such information was readily available from the universities.”