In an effort to educate prospective and current students, The Complete University Guide has released their annual report ranking the best and worse colleges in the United Kingdom for student safety. It’s noted that the data does not include specific crimes against students – instead, the relative levels of crime with relevance to students were analyzed.

Researchers with The Complete University Guide prepared a list of the yearly report incidents per one thousands residents between May of 2014 and April of 2015 in areas within three miles of a college or university campus. Schools with multiple campuses were ranked according to the data from their “main campus.” The three main categories of crime reported were robbery, burglary, and violent/sexual crimes.

According to this year’s report, the safest schools in England and Wales are the University of Buckingham, Falmouth University and Durham University. It was noted that schools located in the South West and South East regions of the United Kingdom tended to have the lowest crime rates overall. Students in the Greater London area saw Kingston University – London snag the top spot for safety in the city.

Dr. Bernard Kingston, the report’s lead author, stated that all prospective students should compare crime rates and safety rankings when looking at schools. Many people are unaware of safety levels in their potential college’s city – having this information can help prepare students and their families for a secure and enjoyable university experience.

Several British universities along with the UK government are working on initiatives and codes of conduct to increase safety for students and “to bring about cultural change.” Sheryl Hill, founder and Executive Director of ClearCause Foundation – a nonprofit dedicated to global student safety at home and abroad – applauded the report.

“The United States has the Clery Act mandating transparency on safety on American campuses,” Hill explained. “Foreign students studying in America can find Campus Safety & Security reports online by higher education institute. Now, American students studying abroad in the UK can use this report to make informed decisions.”

By developing and releasing their annual safety rankings, The Complete University Guide is empowering students to educate themselves on how to stay safe and secure during college. Proponents of the report hope the data’s influence on prospective students and the universities they are looking at will encourage both parties to work towards a more transparent and informed learning experience.