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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    Are these questions supposed to be exposing flaws in my argument? :confused:

    Everything you've asked is exactly the problem with the usual rankings. Looking at UCAS tariff tells you, on average, what students think is the right answer to each of your questions.
    Yes, but not the right answer to the question whether a university is:-

    the best programme for which their qualifications are sufficient.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Yes, but not the right answer to the question whether a university is:-
    Yes there are factors which can skew incentives, such as your example of cost of living in London.

    I'm not saying that UCAS tariffs are a perfect indicator of quality. I'm just saying a) they are better than any other single criteria and b) they are better than any individual coming up with a weighting of multiple criteria, because essentially UCAS tariffs represent b) as decided by the entire student population.

    If you have a better way of comparing universities, let me know. If you take the agnostic stand that universities can't be compared, that's fair, but also boring
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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    Yes there are factors which can skew incentives, such as your example of cost of living in London.

    I'm not saying that UCAS tariffs are a perfect indicator of quality. I'm just saying a) they are better than any other single criteria and b) they are better than any individual coming up with a weighting of multiple criteria, because essentially UCAS tariffs represent b) as decided by the entire student population.

    If you have a better way of comparing universities, let me know. If you take the agnostic stand that universities can't be compared, that's fair, but also boring
    I've been knocking around universities for a long, long time so my opinions have been formed very slowly. I am not in the position of someone who is suddenly being asked to decide between 100+ institutions all of which claim they are the bees' knees.

    My view is that your approach has some merit except at the extremes. Aberystwyth and Aberdeen get a raw deal. So do universities in dead holes. On the other hand poor universities in London are over-rated as are some in party cities.
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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    Research is not a bad criterion either, but I don't think it tells you much about the quality of the undergraduate programmes.

    My rationale for entry tariffs is simple. When selecting between universities to apply to, and then later deciding which of their offers to go to, students are essentially casting a vote for which they think is the best university. Assuming that students are fairly rational (also that universities offer roughly the same spread of courses), you should then have that students on average end up going to the best programme for which their qualifications are sufficient. This even allows for the definition of 'best' to be determined by the market - i.e. students themselves. It may be the case that 50% go on prestige, 25% on employment opportunities, 15% on student satisfaction etc . . . that all gets factored in.

    Additionally, as posted on these forums before, there are studies showing that in a cohort with higher A Levels it is harder to obtain a good degree class.

    (note difference between average entry tariffs and entry requirements . . . I agree requirements are somewhat flawed [though to be honest if A Levels were capable of distinguishing better at the top end, I would say requirements wouldn't be bad either])
    This is what I am not convinced of. Mainly for two reasons:
    1. Students, especially at the undergrad level, have not perfect information;
    2. There is some circularity: students' decisions will be also based on rankings, which at the same time are also based on entry requirements -> they are circular.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    My view is that your approach has some merit except at the extremes. Aberystwyth and Aberdeen get a raw deal. So do universities in dead holes. On the other hand poor universities in London are over-rated as are some in party cities.
    Fair points. You may be right, applying an adjustment for location-desirability to the entry tariffs could produce a better ranking.

    (Original post by polscistudent88)
    This is what I am not convinced of. Mainly for two reasons:
    1. Students, especially at the undergrad level, have not perfect information;
    2. There is some circularity: students' decisions will be also based on rankings, which at the same time are also based on entry requirements -> they are circular.
    1. I'd say that the relevant details for students are available - employment statistics, student:staff ratio, course syllabus, assessment method, research quality, they're all there. Whether students avail this information is another question, but as long as they're conducting SOME critical analysis, then my point still stands. For example, if students are not choosing to look at research quality at all but are concentrating solely on employment prospects, then that's their definition of a good course.

    2. Circularity existing does not necessarily mean anyone is making irrational decisions. Institutional 'prestige' is normally an accumulation of circularity over time anyway (an institution is considered 'prestigious' because a lot of good students go there, and good students go to that institution because it is considered prestigious, and on and on).
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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    Fair points. You may be right, applying an adjustment for location-desirability to the entry tariffs could produce a better ranking.



    1. I'd say that the relevant details for students are available - employment statistics, student:staff ratio, course syllabus, assessment method, research quality, they're all there. Whether students avail this information is another question, but as long as they're conducting SOME critical analysis, then my point still stands. For example, if students are not choosing to look at research quality at all but are concentrating solely on employment prospects, then that's their definition of a good course.

    2. Circularity existing does not necessarily mean anyone is making irrational decisions. Institutional 'prestige' is normally an accumulation of circularity over time anyway (an institution is considered 'prestigious' because a lot of good students go there, and good students go to that institution because it is considered prestigious, and on and on).
    This is probably true... Guess it also depends on how one judges what quality means... Complex matter
 
 
 
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