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The bumper thread of University League Tables discussion - includes an info post

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    (Original post by River85)
    Because you cannot look at this year in isolation. In determining typical offers universities use the trend over recent years. Even though there has been a drop this year, this is not represented across all universities and still leaves a large number of applications compared to ten years ago.

    You have also chosen to ignore the crucial second point about grade inflation. Although application numbers are down slightly, grade inflation is still noticeable. I wager that this year will be another record year for grades and passes. If, say, one in every 10 students is achieving AAA, and half of grades are either A or B, then do you really expect universities to give modest offers for oversubscribed courses?

    So what ?

    You can't deny that this year is watermark year, 9k a year + expenses is no joke and a lot people will not take the bait.

    There is every chance that enrollments will drop back a bit.

    You seem to take this very personally, why do you care either way - you are long past your UG days ?
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    (Original post by Txi)
    So what ?

    You can't deny that this year is watermark year, 9k a year + expenses is no joke and a lot people will not take the bait.

    There is every chance that enrollments will drop back a bit.
    It was unsurprising that the higher fees resulted in a drop of applicant numbers, as top up fees did in 2006.

    Whether this is part of a long term decline in applicant numbers remains to be seen. When fees were introduced in the late 90s, and then trebled in 2006, it did not harm applicant numbers long term.

    I expect many will be more careful in their applications and seek even greater value from their education. But I think numbers will rise and stabalise, particularly as more get to understand the new fees and repayment structure.

    And you're still ignoring grade inflation which has been a major reason for increased offers over the years.

    Even if there is going to be a decline in applicant numbers this is not going to result in lower offers this very year, is it? In your own words, you're only looking at this year, so I fail to see what you're getting at.

    You seem to take this very personally, why do you care either way - you are long past your UG days ?
    I'm not taking it personally and I'm not "long past my UG days" considering I've only just finished. Even if I was, I don't see what difference that should make.
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    What inflation ?

    The difference is that one would not care either way as applications would be irrelevant to them .

    Surely an obvious point.
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    (Original post by Txi)
    What inflation ?
    The rampant grade inflation that has taken place over the last generation or more, meaning the once rare A grade is now very common and, due to the frequency of A grades, the A* has been introduced in GCSEs and A-levels.

    If you aren't aware that grade inflation has taken place then you clearly don't know much as this is a well known fact. You should therefore not comment on these matters.

    The difference is that one would not care either way as applications would be irrelevant to them .

    Surely an obvious point.
    I have no idea what you mean. Who wouldn't care? Applications are irrelevant to whom?
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    When you compare all these spending figures you should remember that you are looking at one small contributor to the overall score; depending on the methodology used by CUG it may have a small (or not so small) weighting.

    Also you seem to argue about the reliability of figures, which I quote:
    "The raw data for the League Table all come from sources in the public domain. The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) provided data for entry standards, student-staff ratios, spending on academic services, facilities spending, good honours degrees, graduate prospects, completion and overseas student enrolments. HESA is the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about the universities."

    LSE might not have a museum as you say for some reason, but it is building a new student centre from the ground up, and has one of the largest social science libraries in the world, which I think justifies a lot of their spend.
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    The issue has nought to do with inflation, it is you that brought it up.

    UG Applications are irrelevant to 27 year old who have graduated a long time ago - that's who.

    If you aren't aware these issues then you clearly don't know much as this applies directly to you a well known fact. You should therefore not comment on these matters.
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    funny how people say tables are stupid but everyone keeps harping on about it .

    LOL
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    (Original post by Txi)
    The issue has nought to do with inflation, it is you that brought it up.

    UG Applications are irrelevant to 27 year old who have graduated a long time ago - that's who.

    If you aren't aware these issues then you clearly don't know much as this applies directly to you a well known fact. You should therefore not comment on these matters.
    Don't be too harsh. This subsection of TSR is what gives a meaning to his life
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    Nevermind league tables, check out the scenery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLhPd7kdQIc
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Rather than give what amounts to marketing puff for LSE, just think about what you have written.

    First of all the statistics I quoted are said to exclude premises spend where LSE might be epected to have a high figure.

    Salaries, with a modest London weighting, are identical in all Pre-92 universities. The statistics I have quoted would ignore academics' salaries but would take account of slightly higher salaries for lab technicians.

    LSE has no museum.

    I accept, though I do not know that, LSE may have a higher spend on careers services and student entertainment.

    However, these costs pale into insignificance beside the cost of "big ticket" physical and biological science research and engineering.

    The reality is that the figures used in the CUG for these spends are meaningless because different universities collate their figures in different ways.

    For example LSE's library spend is published at £7.1M, Aston's is published at £1.2M, which looks fine until one realises that LSE's includes staff costs, utilities etc whereas Aston's includes nothing but the books and journals. In other words one is comparing apples and pears.
    I don't want to get into a 'thing' about this, as I don't care that much to be honest - lots of unis are great. I'm just a bit confused as to what you are trying to get at... you're using stats to say that the stats given in the league table are wrong?
    I basically just copied and pasted the league table's blurb for how they justified LSEs student spend, because you asked what they spend the £2076 on. It didn't say LSE has a museum and nor did I. If you think that the figures were complied incorrectly, then you should question those who compiled it. I only questioned your implication that all LSE buys for its students is, "economics journals."
    If league tables continue to publish incorrectly compiled data, they will soon lose their reputation, so I wouldn't let it get to you.
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    (Original post by a_mashru88)
    I don't want to get into a 'thing' about this, as I don't care that much to be honest - lots of unis are great. I'm just a bit confused as to what you are trying to get at... you're using stats to say that the stats given in the league table are wrong?
    I basically just copied and pasted the league table's blurb for how they justified LSEs student spend, because you asked what they spend the £2076 on. It didn't say LSE has a museum and nor did I. If you think that the figures were complied incorrectly, then you should question those who compiled it. I only questioned your implication that all LSE buys for its students is, "economics journals."
    If league tables continue to publish incorrectly compiled data, they will soon lose their reputation, so I wouldn't let it get to you.
    I will give a constructive answer.

    I accept that LSE doesn't only buy economics journals; that was simplistic shorthand for the sort of expenditure incurred in providing social science courses.

    HESA publishes criteria for data collection and then collects data from universities but does not necessarily validate that data. The difficulties in doing this can be seen that we are now more than a year on from AAB+ status being vital to determining university funding, but HEFCE still doesn't believe it has accurate data from universities as to the number of AAB+ students.

    An important test with any data collection exercise is a "reality check". Do the figures seem right? Amongst the examples I gave was an enormous disparity in spending between Kingston and Middlesex.

    If one looks at LSE in isolation, one can well believe it has a spend of that amount. However, if one then compares it with institutions that, from the courses they offer, would naturally have very high levels of expenditure, LSE is up with them. If one then looks at what money pits LSE has, it hasn't got many. Public museums run by universities cost a lot. So do labs, national standard sports facilities, radio telescopes, botanic gardens, arts theatres. LSE has none of these. It does have very expensive real estate but that is excluded from the calculations. It does have a high library spend but even that raises some questions. Other universities with a lot of students who have a heavy drain on library budgets, particularly medicine, and the hard sciences seem to spend far less on their library.

    Ultimately, this is an issue of attribution. Unversities attribute costs were they wish for their own budgetry purposes. If that data is simply carried forward to a league table without any attempt to reattribute those costs on a common basis, we have the absurd situation that a league table position depends on whether the library cleaner's wages are attributed to the library budget or a cleaning budget. LSE seems to put every possible cost relating to the library onto the library budget. The other university I looked at, Loughborough I think, spent nothing on the library other than on books and journals. Seemingly the library staff worked for nothing, the physics department had invented limitless free electricity and the biologists had genetically engineered a printer-paper tree! Of course, in reality these costs are borne somewhere else in the university budget that has no favourable impact on its league table position.
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    (Original post by a_mashru88)

    If league tables continue to publish incorrectly compiled data, they will soon lose their reputation, so I wouldn't let it get to you.
    you take them seriously at the moment? The overall ranks are bad enough but the subject ranks take the piss in all league tables
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    Google, led me to studentroom.

    (Original post by River85)
    Yes and have done many times.

    It's a lobbying group comprised of larger research intensive universities. It currently has 20 members (the membership will be expanded with Durham, York, Queen Mary and Exeter, all members of the 1994 Group, joining soon). Ninteen of the current twenty members are in the top 20 of the country in terms of research income.

    League tables are not meant to represent the membership of the Russell Group, which is not a selection of "the best 20 or so universities". League tables attempt to rank universities according to the criteria the compilers feel are important.

    As league tables include things like graduate prospects, student satisfaction and entry standards, the membership of the Russell Group will not be identical (or near identical) to the top 20 in a league table, unless that league table looked at research power and income only. You will always have a large number of universities outside the Russell Group in that top 20, namely some universities from the 1994 Group - a lobbying group for smaller research intensive universities formally established in the same year that the Russell Group was formally/officially established.
    Thankyou
    So it's research-based uni's?
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    Had a quick online search there for criticisms of the university league tables. Not much mention about spend, personally I think I would be given a low weight anyway; there was an interesting point about grade inflation though - with a view to increasing the amount of good honours. It was also mentioned that universities may be more selective in admissions with regards to UCAS points, but I would say that would happen regardless of the league tables.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    (Original post by Txi)
    The issue has nought to do with inflation, it is you that brought it up.

    UG Applications are irrelevant to 27 year old who have graduated a long time ago - that's who.

    If you aren't aware these issues then you clearly don't know much as this applies directly to you a well known fact. You should therefore not comment on these matters.
    I know you are now finally banned but all I have left to say is...wow :hat2:

    (Original post by Frenchous)
    Don't be too harsh. This subsection of TSR is what gives a meaning to his life
    Cheers, but not really, which is why I've barely posted in it the last two and a half years (relative to many others). Too many other things to do in life, hence not returning here in the last seven days.

    (Original post by y.yousef)
    Google, led me to studentroom.
    It's a never ending circle!

    Thankyou
    So it's research-based uni's?
    Erm....essentially yes. Most, if not all, universities conduct research but they are among our largest and the universities with the biggest 22 or so research incomes (except LSE which is a special case - it doesn't offer a science or medical faculty so this restricts its research income).
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    (Original post by River85)
    I know you are now finally banned but all I have left to say is...wow :hat2:



    Cheers, but not really, which is why I've barely posted in it the last two and a half years (relative to many others). Too many other things to do in life, hence not returning here in the last seven days.



    It's a never ending circle!



    Erm....essentially yes. Most, if not all, universities conduct research but they are among our largest and the universities with the biggest 22 or so research incomes (except LSE which is a special case - it doesn't offer a science or medical faculty so this restricts its research income).
    surely a good research university, which has many resources and 'wider knowledge' shud be on the top 10 in term,s of ranking.

    and with the other uni's that aint russel...what makes them so good?
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    (Original post by y.yousef)
    surely a good research university, which has many resources and 'wider knowledge' shud be on the top 10 in term,s of ranking.

    and with the other uni's that aint russel...what makes them so good?
    Not necessarily, because lots of unis have very good research and thus receive a lot of funding for that research, and there are significantly more than ten of them so there simply isn't space for all of them to be in a 'top ten'.

    The unis outside the RG (Bath and St Andrews for example) tend to be smaller than the unis that make up the RG (for example Birmingham or Manchester), as it was at least and excepting Imperial and LSE. Because these unis are bigger and have more researchers it is logical that they take a greater overall chunk of the research budget. However, those who are very good outside the RG will probably take a similar amount of research money per researcher.

    Often they lack a med school as well, which bring in a lot of funding (if nothing else because training one med student costs circa. 250k).
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    (Original post by North Irelandman)
    Had a quick online search there for criticisms of the university league tables. Not much mention about spend, personally I think I would be given a low weight anyway; there was an interesting point about grade inflation though - with a view to increasing the amount of good honours. It was also mentioned that universities may be more selective in admissions with regards to UCAS points, but I would say that would happen regardless of the league tables.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    The two spending metrics for CUG are together worth 22.2% of the overall score.
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    League tables are completely utterly meaningless. Everyone knows that. You might as well pull a list of institutions out of your ass.
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    Advice needed.

    I firmed Sussex over Sheffield and am slightly worried that the difference in prestige may be bigger than I thought, is this so?

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