Complete University Guide 2017

The first of the major University league tables, the Complete University Guide, is published today.

This table uses metrics  on ten measures: Student Satisfaction, Research Quality, Research Intensity, Entry Standards, Student: Staff Ratio; Spending on Academic Services; Spending on Student Facilities; Good Honours degrees achieved; Graduate Prospects and Completion.

From the CUG press release:

Dr Bernard Kingston, principal author of TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk, said: “There is a considerable degree of stability at the upper end of the league table this year. While dramatic changes may be newsworthy, this stability indicates that the rankings are robust and credible for young people seeking a university place – our primary purpose.”
This year’s release sees TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk publish a number of new rankings. Alongside new subject tables for Creative Writing, Forensic Science and Occupational Therapy, there is now a Creative and Performance Arts table, containing 14 institutions that do not feature in the Main Table.
Dr Kingston said: “We have simultaneously released a survey of universities’ relative success in resolving student complaints. This shows significant variations between universities and is an important source of information for prospective students who what to know that their complaints will be effectively resolved.” (See attached Press Release and Table).
“Last year’s Higher Education Green Paper, Higher education: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice, stated that applicants need access to robust, timely and objective information, based on criteria that are straightforward and easily understood.

So the top ten are:

2017

Position

2016

Position

Change Institution
1 -1 0 Cambridge
2 -2 0 Oxford
3 -3 0 London School of Economics
4 -4 0 Imperial College London
5 -5 0 St Andrews
6 -5 -1 Durham
7 -11 4 Loughborough
8 -7 -1 Warwick
9 -9 0 Lancaster
10 -13 3 University College London

Not really any surprises there. Staffordshire falls 6 places to 109th.

What is always of more interest are the big movers, both up and down, and the identification through reading the individual subject tables to see why these changes have happened.

So this year’s big winners are:

  • Manchester Met – up 16
  • Harper Adams – up 14
  • Buckingham – up 14
  • Liverpool Hope – up 14
  • Sunderland – up 14
  • Falmouth – up 12
  • Winchester – up 12
  • Edge Hill – up 11
  • Middlesex – up 11

At the other end we have

  • Oxford Brookes – down 11
  • St Mark and St John – down 12
  • Brighton – down 14
  • Queen Margaret – down 15
  • Royal Agricultural University – down 17
  • Arts University Bournemouth – down 19

The section on complaints and their resolution will be of interest to academic registrars. Over a 3 year period, the number of completion of procedure letters issued after exhausting internal complaints process per 1000 students is ranked. The ranking here does not follow any meaningful pattern – it might be assumed that students at one type of university are more likely to use a complaints procedure than others, or that part of the sector would be better at dealing with complaints but this is clearly not the case. Pleasingly, the figure quoted for Staffordshire is considerably better than for some. Whether this data is of any meaningful us to prospective students is debatable.

 

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