The panel assessed three areas - the quality of teaching; the learning environment; and, student outcomes and learning gain - with gold requiring evidence of outstanding provision in all three.
Many local and global students, including from India, choose universities for their degree courses based on such rankings, which may vary based on differences in criteria used, but drive student numbers in a sector facing major funding cuts in recent years.
Lincolnshire's two universities are among only 26% of higher education providers from across the whole of the United Kingdom to be awarded a Gold rating.
Meanwhile, the University of East Anglia (UEA) was awarded an overall mark of silver in the TEF. Providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can take part in the TEF, but their results will not be tied to fees.
The Russell Group said it does not believe the TEF measures "absolute quality" and that would-be students need clear guidance about what the results mean and how they should be used.
Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) was awarded gold in the government's new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which is created to help students decide where, and what, to study.
Universities have been ranked gold, silver, bronze or, in cases where there was insufficient data, provisional. A separate Research Excellence Framework ranks the quality of research.
The rankings are based on what have been highly controversial metrics and which include the National Student Survey, dropout rates, graduate employability and a written assessment from the university. The TEF measures excellence above and beyond this.
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Professor Sarah O'Hara, the Uni of's vice-chancellor for education and student experience, said: "We're absolutely delighted that we have received a TEF gold rating".
Vice-chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, Professor Bob Cryan, added: "It shows that our strategy to provide top-class teaching, facilities and student support has come to fruition".
Brunel runs a significant range of initiatives to support applicants, students, and graduates, during their entire lifecycle of study with the University.
"They want to be taught by committed professionals who care about preparing them for the global workplace".
The University and College Union was more equivocal in its condemnation of the framework, whose results general secretary Sally Hunt said "will have little credibility within higher education itself".
And before you ask, yes both Oxford and Cambridge scored gold too.
"The fear is that students, beyond the United Kingdom in particular, will use these results as the basis for deciding which United Kingdom university to attend, which could damage some institutions", she said.