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The Times & Sunday Times "Good University Guide" Official University Rankings 2017

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    (Original post by jneill)
    On the contrary, if anything it is in the interests of leaving students to upvote their university so future employers think they went to a "good uni". (Yes I know employers don't pay attention to rankings but many students don't realise that.)
    It is indeed in their interests (or at least supposedly as you say), but I don't think many people appreciate that - I definitely feel that any survey concerning the uni will attract more people who're angry about something and want to voice that anger than your regular person who's voting for the sake of voting.

    As always, this is what I believe and I may be generalising, but yeah...
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    It is indeed in their interests (or at least supposedly as you say), but I don't think many people appreciate that - I definitely feel that any survey concerning the uni will attract more people who're angry about something and want to voice that anger than your regular person who's voting for the sake of voting.
    If that was the case the lowest scores wouldn't be 70%.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    If that was the case the lowest scores wouldn't be 70%.
    I didn't say that only angry students are voting, nor that frustrated students give 0%/very dissatisfied scores to everything. I'm just pointing out from my personal experience (which may or may not apply generally) that students who haven't like their experience at uni are more likely to vote.
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    (Original post by KardasDragon)
    It might be slightly surprising seeing Imperial lower than St. Andrews, but it is still within range of where it should be. The latter certainly deserves to be above LSE which is bottom in teaching and student experience for the 3rd year in a row. LSE really needs to have a look at how it treats undergrads. It is *******s when its flagship course (Econ) has sub 80% satisfaction rates.
    Or they just don't care. Your post could be a decade old.
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    I didn't say that only angry students are voting, nor that frustrated students give 0%/very dissatisfied scores to everything. I'm just pointing out from my personal experience (which may or may not apply generally) that students who haven't like their experience at uni are more likely to vote.
    Ok, so let's say "angry students" are the ones who are more likely to vote. And therefore universities with a higher proportion of angry students will have lower scores - and that tells us something doesn't it. i.e. it's the point of the survey...
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Ok, so let's say "angry students" are the ones who are more likely to vote. And therefore universities with a higher proportion of angry students have lower scores then that tells us something doesn't it. i.e. it's the point of the survey...
    I think you missed my original point re surveys - what makes a certain student angry and what may make another student angry can vary enormously. Someone may hate their course because they have to walk 10 minutes to get to their lecture theatre, and someone may hate it because the lecture is actually inappropriate/horrendous. Added to that, everyone has different expectations, so to conflate it like that makes no sense.

    Once again, the results of the surveys are a good indication on what a certain university could improve - they should not however, for reasons as above, be used in such a way to compare universities themselves directly.
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    I think you missed my original point re surveys - what makes a certain student angry and what may make another student angry can vary enormously. Someone may hate their course because they have to walk 10 minutes to get to their lecture theatre, and someone may hate it because the lecture is actually inappropriate/horrendous. Added to that, everyone has different expectations, so to conflate it like that makes no sense.

    Once again, the results of the surveys are a good indication on what a certain university could improve - they should not however, for reasons as above, be used in such a way to compare universities themselves directly.
    NSS says they have a completion rate of 70% - that's definitely statistically valid. Also, the survey is undertaken by Ipsos MORI, who generally know what they are doing.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    NSS says they have a completion rate of 70% - that's definitely statistically valid. Also, the survey is undertaken by Ipsos MORI, who generally know what they are doing.
    So, in your opinion, East Anglia has a better teaching system than Cambridge/Oxford?

    Okay, I guess.
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    So, in your opinion, East Anglia has a better teaching system than Cambridge/Oxford?

    Okay, I guess.
    Maybe they go the extra mile?

    The teaching system at Oxbridge gets them both a rating >80 - so it's clearly good, but perhaps the intensity is too much for some, or some of the supervisors/tutors aren't as helpful as they might be, who knows. Yes we can't see the detail, but it does say something if both the Oxbridge universities are outside the top 20.

    Edit to add: and as PQ's subsequent post shows, the detail is important.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Maybe they go the extra mile?

    The teaching system at Oxbridge gets them both a rating >80 - so it's clearly good, but perhaps the intensity is too much for some, or some of the supervisors/tutors aren't as helpful as they might be, who knows. Yes we can't see the detail, but it does say something if both the Oxbridge universities are outside the top 20.
    Maybe, but then again, it's hard for me to appreciate that point. Teaching at Oxbridge is, as everyone knows, very intense. Everyone going there knows that, and have been warned as such by the unis themselves. If someone becomes frustrated because of the intensity, s/he has no one but themselves to blame. It's not a mistake/carelessness by the uni, but by the student who had different expectations.

    Essentially, East Anglia may get a better score because it's more accessible in terms of difficulty, but how can you say that is an accurate measure of the uni's quality? That's why I'm saying that these scores should be used locally by each uni to improve their courses (so, say, give Oxford a chance to evaluate the intensity of their courses), but not to compare the two institutions themselves.

    Also, forgot to say that your quoted response rate is given as an average. In 2016, Oxford's 59% response rate was hailed as the 'biggest one ever' - certainly in some unis it will be much higher and in others lower.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Harper Adams was never a polytechnic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyte...r_polytechnics
    Nor was Liverpool Hope.

    They're new universities - ie they got university status after 1992 - but they're not ex-polys but ex agricultural and teacher training colleges.
    good point I missed that. Should've called them post-1992s.
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    Also, forgot to say that your quoted response rate is given as an average. In 2016, Oxford's 59% response rate was hailed as the 'biggest one ever' - certainly in some unis it will be much higher and in others lower.
    Even a few 100 out of a cohort of say 3,000 would be statistically valid.

    Also, re Oxbridge - they have the highest completion rates of any university. So they are doing something right...
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    Btw does anyone know the difference between "most competition for places" and "overall offer rate"?
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    (Original post by KardasDragon)
    Btw does anyone know the difference between "most competition for places" and "overall offer rate"?
    Fundamentally, an offer is not a place. Many people get a number of offers but they all end up with only 1 place (assuming they are accepted somewhere).
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    Maybe, but then again, it's hard for me to appreciate that point. Teaching at Oxbridge is, as everyone knows, very intense. Everyone going there knows that, and have been warned as such by the unis themselves. If someone becomes frustrated because of the intensity, s/he has no one but themselves to blame. It's not a mistake/carelessness by the uni, but by the student who had different expectations.

    Essentially, East Anglia may get a better score because it's more accessible in terms of difficulty, but how can you say that is an accurate measure of the uni's quality? That's why I'm saying that these scores should be used locally by each uni to improve their courses (so, say, give Oxford a chance to evaluate the intensity of their courses), but not to compare the two institutions themselves.

    Also, forgot to say that your quoted response rate is given as an average. In 2016, Oxford's 59% response rate was hailed as the 'biggest one ever' - certainly in some unis it will be much higher and in others lower.
    OK lets unpick the NSS results for Oxford, Cambridge and UEA from the raw data http://www.hefce.ac.uk/lt/nss/results/2016/

    Teaching Quality in the Times ranking is Q1-12 in the NSS
    Student Experience is Q13-22 in the NSS

    The results for the 3 universities concerned are below - you can see that both Oxford and Cambridge have far more people disagreeing or strongly disagreeing that criteria for marking are made clear in advance - only 3/5 of their finalists agree or strongly agree with that statement (with a confidence interval of +/-2%) . Understanding what constitutes a pass/fail/first/upper second etc is vital if a university is going to help students to improve their work. The focus of degree classifications in Oxbridge on final exams rather than a modular structure means that their course design is always going to result in a poor performance in this measure.

    Likewise for student experience they both seem to have issues over timetabling, organisation and communication and with their courses improving their student's confidence in comparison to UEA.

    They outperform UEA in "the course is intellectually stimulating" and in resources (both library, IT and specialist) but not to the extent that it makes up for the levels of dissatisfaction in other areas.

    17 Oxford finalists and 41 Cambridge finalists STRONGLY DISAGREE that "As a result of the course, I feel confident in tackling unfamiliar problems.". 225 Oxford (13%) and 350 Cambridge (17%) finalists chose not to AGREE with that statement. That's a BIG problem and a substantial minority of students who are being failed by the current system at both universities.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Fundamentally, an offer is not a place. Many people get a number of offers but they all end up with only 1 place (assuming they are accepted somewhere).
    So in the case of LSE who on their site advertise a 7,2% of acceptance rate, what does this actually mean in the context of the figures in the league table?

    Their competition for places is 10.7:1

    And their overall offer rate is 37%
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    (Original post by KardasDragon)
    So in the case of LSE who on their site advertise a 7,2% of acceptance rate, what does this actually mean in the context of the figures in the league table?

    Their competition for places is 10.7:1

    And their overall offer rate is 37%
    If you have 100 applicants, 37 will get an offer, and 7 of them will end up at LSE.

    The other 30 offer holders will have gone elsewhere (e.g. Oxbridge or wherever).
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    (Original post by jneill)
    If you have 100 applicants, 37 will get an offer, and 7 of them will end up at LSE.

    The other 30 offer holders will have gone elsewhere (e.g. Oxbridge or wherever).
    Thanks this actually makes alot more sense!

    So just to get this clear

    Oxford, has an acceptance rate of 17,5%, competition of 5.9:1, and offer rate of 24.8%.

    This means with 590 applicants:

    There are 100 spaces
    25% of the 590 will get an offer. Then 18% of those 590 of them will actually attend.

    But 25% of 590 is 148, and 18% of 590 is 106. Don't you still have more students than you need?

    Also, what happened to the 7%? Did 32 people just not make their offer? It is hard to imagine anyone would turn down Oxford to go somewhere else.
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    (Original post by KardasDragon)
    Thanks this actually makes this make alot more snese!

    So just to get this clear

    Oxford, has an acceptance rate of 17,5%, competition of 5.9:1, and offer rate of 24.8%.

    This means with 590 applicants:

    There are 100 spaces
    25% of the 590 will get an offer. Then 18% of those 590 of them will actually attend.

    But 25% of 590 is 148, and 18% of 590 is 106. Don't you still have more students than you need?

    Also, what happened to the 7%? Did 32 people just not make their offer? It is hard to imagine anyone would turn down Oxford to go somewhere else.
    I think acceptance rate and competition rate should be the same - the difference may be for 2 different years? You are comparing 2 different sources.

    But yes by no means all Oxford offer holders will make their offer, and some will choose to go elsewhere (notably to America, but some may choose LSE or wherever). Depends on the course.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    On the contrary, if anything it is in the interests of leaving students to upvote their university so future employers think they went to a "good uni". (Yes I know employers don't pay attention to rankings but many students don't realise that.)
    I would like to think students also consult the World rankings when choosing a university, amongst other things. These UK league tables are a mess, and should not include student satisfaction - that should be an independent score.
 
 
 
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