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The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide is one of the three main national rankings for universities in the UK. The 2017 UK rankings were released 26th September, and universities were graded by student experience, graduate prospects, entry points, completion rate and overall point score. But why does this rank system matter, anyway?
• For international students, studying in the UK is a massive investment. The annual university rankings help to determine the international standing of universities they want to apply for nationally AND globally. This may ultimately sway their final choice of university.
• The Times and Sunday Times Good University guide also makes its rankings based on student satisfaction. Potential university students are usually concerned about whether or not graduates are satisfied with the teaching quality and standards of their course. It is an expensive investment, after all.
• For future postgraduate students, they ought to be paying attention to the graduate prospects of universities, which is a criterion for rank.
See below for the 2017 official rankings:
For postgraduate students:
The Research Excellence Framework (first conducted in 2008 as the Research Assessment Exercise) is also an important indicator for the research quality of a university. This is important in assessing the quality of postgraduate courses at an institution.
Remember that the league tables are not a fair assessment of smaller, more specialized institutions which have more specialized and specific research.
• Always know where the data is coming from. Specialised institutions such as SOAS or Cranfield University may never fare well in the overall UK/world league tables, due to their specialist research and small sizes.
The Research Excellence Framework was conducted back in 2014. It has been 2 years since then!
• Know the criteria differences between the tables. The Guardian’s league table relies heavily on student experience, while The Times leans more towards figures and research assessment scores.
• Specific subject league tables are a better indicator of subject quality on the ground.
The National Student Survey (filled in by all final year students) is the primary indicator for student satisfaction. It is a measure of student opinion.
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There are two other national rankings for reference: