2011 Independent Uni League Table up Watch

AfghanistanBananistan
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#161
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#161
(Original post by GwonTon)
100% agree with this post. I guess my only divergence from the 'big' universities' opinion is that I think league tables do matter. They shouldn't, but they do. They create perceptions among students and parents (who are often even more naive than their kids) about what a 'good' or 'bad' university is.

This means that universities like, say, Manchester or Nottingham may fail to attract the calibre of students they used to. This in turn affects their 'product', which affects their perception among employers, which knocks them back even more, which may begin to have other effects. It's not the end of the world, but it does matter, I think.

Personally, I think we should get rid of these league tables. A much better system would be to set up an independent authority who evaluate universities on a qualitative basis (not simply 'the stats' like these ratings do). Such an authority would not 'rank' universities, but could rather offer them a broad rating (e.g. five star, three star, whatever). This would tilt the focus on the specifics of the institution: if 20 universities are reaching the top rating, people will have to look at them in more depth.
I agree with this. People need to realise that no matter how high smaller uni's like Lancaster and Aston rank, employers still flock to the big red bricks. Places like Manchester and Nottingham may have slipped in rankings but they are still amongst the top 8 targeted every year. They have the reputation that smaller places just dont have and you cannot deny that the 'russel group' is still considered amongst the press to be the star grouping the of the best. In fact, many newspapers often say Durham is a russel group unis because they assume it is.

I agree that league tables are important though, esp the perception amongst prospective applicants.

I only hope that the big uni's with the better business models come out of the hard financial times in a far better shape and they may totally dominate over the next 20 years.

I still dont understand whay satisfaction is there since new QAA audits are happening everywhere. Hopefully these will replace it soon. I know that i gave a bad score on purpose because i felt i got a harsh mark in an exam, and in know that at Nottingham they do nothing to promote the survey so people just assume it is some internal or small thing and are naturally ciritical and see it as a way of getting improvements. They basically said at Nottingham that the grieviences in last years survey led us to build a new SU, so everyone naturally thinks that if i complain alot then they will built lots of nice things. I bet smaller places like At Andrews promote the survey as a way of doing better amongst their peers.
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GoldenTriangle
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#162
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#162
(Original post by AfghanistanBananistan)
Places like Manchester and Nottingham may have slipped in rankings but they are still amongst the top 8 targeted every year.
Don't they measure the "largest number of top employers for campus careers fairs, local presentations or other university recruitment promotions"?

Is it reliable? It seem a bit weird for Manchester to rank above Cambirdge and Oxford.
Maybe Manchester attracted tons of 50th-100th ranked companies, while Oxbridge attracted a few of the top 10 companies :P
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ncsjohn02
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#163
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#163
(Original post by Farooqi bean)
yessssss Nottingham 5th on Law, get in
:rofl: lol at king's
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yoyo462001
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#164
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(Original post by GoldenTriangle)
Don't they measure the "largest number of top employers for campus careers fairs, local presentations or other university recruitment promotions"?

Is it reliable? It seem a bit weird for Manchester to rank above Cambirdge and Oxford.
Maybe Manchester attracted tons of 50th-100th ranked companies, while Oxbridge attracted a few of the top 10 companies :P
Most targeted is more to do with sheer size than quality. It would be unwise for a firm to not go to the largest universities such as Manchester, especially since the uni is a big city which will have many firms anyways.
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NoNameAvailable
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#165
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#165
You knew most universities pay for being ranked in a good way right? Business makes the world move....
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Focus08
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#166
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#166
Oh, and another thing..

About the entry standards, I think the measurements need to change. Instead of an A being 120 Ucas points, we need to differentiate between good A-levels and mickey mouse ones (this sounds snobbish, I know). I know a guy who has 4 A's. Sounds impressive. But they are in: Business studies, media studies, film studies, communication studies. Now, 4 A's sounds better than AAB. However, what if the latter consisted of Maths, Chemistry, Physics. What's more impressive now?

It may complicate things, but more credit should be given to proper subjects, and this should be reflected in the tables, as it would show where the students of highest caliber are..
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.ACS.
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#167
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#167
(Original post by Focus08)
Oh, and another thing..

About the entry standards, I think the measurements need to change. Instead of an A being 120 Ucas points, we need to differentiate between good A-levels and mickey mouse ones (this sounds snobbish, I know). I know a guy who has 4 A's. Sounds impressive. But they are in: Business studies, media studies, film studies, communication studies. Now, 4 A's sounds better than AAB. However, what if the latter consisted of Maths, Chemistry, Physics. What's more impressive now?

It may complicate things, but more credit should be given to proper subjects, and this should be reflected in the tables, as it would show where the students of highest caliber are..
Not only that, but it could be argued that it should be differentiated whether someone got 80/100 or 95/100 or even 100/100. All are grade A, and all equally weighted as 120 UCAS points, but significantly different in terms of actual score.

At the end of the day, though, it will be some arbitrary ranking based on weighted aggregated data. It's subjective to say a university is better based on criteria x, y, and z compared to u, v, and w; the reality is they are arbitrary statistics and neither combination definitively states whether one university is better than another.

So the above, combined with the fact any tweaks such as you've highlighted would create a very complicated (and costly) methodology, means league tables should just be phased out or ignored.
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Focus08
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#168
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#168
(Original post by .ACS.)
Not only that, but it could be argued that it should be differentiated whether someone got 80/100 or 95/100 or even 100/100. All are grade A, and all equally weighted as 120 UCAS points, but significantly different in terms of actual score.

At the end of the day, though, it will be some arbitrary ranking based on weighted aggregated data. It's subjective to say a university is better based on criteria x, y, and z compared to u, v, and w; the reality is they are arbitrary statistics and neither combination definitively states whether one university is better than another.

So the above, combined with the fact any tweaks such as you've highlighted would create a very complicated (and costly) methodology, means league tables should just be phased out or ignored.
Well, I think my approach would be good in the long run. Universities would see that if they accept a student with chemistry rather than film studies, their position in the league tables would go up. So there is an incentive to discriminate between subject choice instead. This would send a signal to students making them choose tougher subjects as it would facilitate their entry to university. Over the long run, mickey mouse subjects would be close to eliminated, and we would have a smarter work force.


But it won't happen.
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Roocky
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#169
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#169
(Original post by ncsjohn02)
:rofl: lol at king's
Naw, they did pretty well too :yep:
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cooolpavan
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#170
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#170
People prefer Durham over LSE??? What in the bloody hell is Lancaster doing in the 8th spot?

This ranking system is biased is all I can say....
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ish90an
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#171
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#171
(Original post by yoyo462001)
Well according to that logic you couldn't have reviews of movies, games, books or anything in general. Its safe to assume that generally undergraduates want the same thing, and the differences will be negligible. Yet people will weight different aspects of a uni differently, but on the whole if a Uni get low satisfaction its probably because students are satisfied, its not because said uni has totally different expectations than other unis.
Not true. People at one university might find a course too easy and thus unsatisfactory, while those doing the same course at less reputed universities might be happier with a course that lets them doss around. Some universities might actually not inform students about the importance of the surveys they fill in each year, thus getting fewer well-thought answers.
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yoyo462001
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#172
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#172
(Original post by ish90an)
Not true. People at one university might find a course too easy and thus unsatisfactory, while those doing the same course at less reputed universities might be happier with a course that lets them doss around. Some universities might actually not inform students about the importance of the surveys they fill in each year, thus getting fewer well-thought answers.
So what your saying is that people at lower end unis are more likely to be content with an easy course whilst those at top unis aren't, when we take into consideration that the courses at top unis are generally hard anyways, shown by a distribution of classes, i think a statement like that is non sense. Saying that expectations of university students vary so much across different unis rendering any student surveys useless is also non sense. Whether the unis informs the student is pretty meaningless, a student that's had a great time and that is pleased with his uni experience will give a positive review regardless of the importance the uni puts on it.
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ish90an
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#173
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(Original post by yoyo462001)
So what your saying is that people at lower end unis are more likely to be content with an easy course whilst those at top unis aren't, when we take into consideration that the courses at top unis are generally hard anyways, shown by a distribution of classes, i think a statement like that is non sense. Saying that expectations of university students vary so much across different unis rendering any student surveys useless is also non sense. Whether the unis informs the student is pretty meaningless, a student that's had a great time and that is pleased with his uni experience will give a positive review regardless of the importance the uni puts on it.
At my university people were not informed of the use these surveys were put to, and thus either didn't bother doing them or didn't take them seriously at all. In contrast, a few other unis I am aware of told people this would impact on the course quality next year so people not only submitted quantitative data, but qualitative data as well.
How does courses being hard at top unis imply anything about the statement that people at lower-end unis are likelier to be content with less rigorous courses? The 2 are unrelated and one does not immediately follow the other.
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billydisco
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#174
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#174
(Original post by yoyo462001)
Well according to that logic you couldn't have reviews of movies, games, books or anything in general. Its safe to assume that generally undergraduates want the same thing, and the differences will be negligible. Yet people will weight different aspects of a uni differently, but on the whole if a Uni get low satisfaction its probably because students are satisfied, its not because said uni has totally different expectations than other unis.
Yes but imagine this:

1 person goes to (say Imperial) because they missed out on Oxbridge
1 person goes to Imperial because they got through clearing and would have otherwise attended Surrey....

Will these people have the same expectations?
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yoyo462001
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#175
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#175
(Original post by billydisco)
Yes but imagine this:

1 person goes to (say Imperial) because they missed out on Oxbridge
1 person goes to Imperial because they got through clearing and would have otherwise attended Surrey....

Will these people have the same expectations?
No they certainly will not, no one is the same, but looking at the sample were dealing with. There upward of 10K to 30K amount of students at universities, when your dealing with such large numbers assuming that expectations are normally distributed makes it possible to compare different unis. What I'm saying is that on the whole expectations between universities will not differ greatly. I also don't think its intelligent assuming people expect greater things based on universities. I can't make a general statement such as 'oxford students want to be challenged more than those at lower ranked unis'
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yoyo462001
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#176
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(Original post by ish90an)
At my university people were not informed of the use these surveys were put to, and thus either didn't bother doing them or didn't take them seriously at all. In contrast, a few other unis I am aware of told people this would impact on the course quality next year so people not only submitted quantitative data, but qualitative data as well.
How does courses being hard at top unis imply anything about the statement that people at lower-end unis are likelier to be content with less rigorous courses? The 2 are unrelated and one does not immediately follow the other.
well based on what you said 'while those doing the same course at less reputed universities might be happier with a course that lets them doss around' + that in generally courses at top unis are harder, seems to imply that they are content with less rigorous course. However if you were merely saying that hypothetically if they were doing the same course, those from lesser unis would be more satisfied, then my point in the post above deals with the problem of that generalisation problem.
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slylion1
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#177
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#177
(Original post by billydisco)
Yes but imagine this:

1 person goes to (say Imperial) because they missed out on Oxbridge
1 person goes to Imperial because they got through clearing and would have otherwise attended Surrey....

Will these people have the same expectations?
You dont get into Imperial through clearing.

Anyway you are a legend on TSR.

DW the countdown to Imperial dominance draws ever closer......
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Focus08
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#178
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#178
(Original post by slylion1)
You dont get into Imperial through clearing.

Anyway you are a legend on TSR.

DW the countdown to Imperial dominance draws ever closer......
I swear I saw a couple of courses on clearing last year.
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billydisco
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#179
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#179
(Original post by slylion1)
You dont get into Imperial through clearing.

Anyway you are a legend on TSR.

DW the countdown to Imperial dominance draws ever closer......
Hahaha,

Yes that is true but i was just trying to make an obvious example.
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megaduck
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#180
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#180
(Original post by GwonTon)
This is such a pathetic comment on so many levels.

It's a bit like saying: if the prime ministerial candidate is struggling to get his policies across because of his looks, he should go and get plastic surgery.
Except that it isn't. If you want to use that particular analogy, it's a bit like the prime ministerial candidate struggling to get his policies across because he doesn't see why people don't just think it's obvious that he's the best, and he can't see why he should have to compete with other upstart candidates anyway (and all the while these upstarts have actually been coming up with better policies while he's been resting on his laurels).

(Original post by wilson_smith)
If your going to look at averages atleast do it right :p:

http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/pdfs/univ07ten.pdf
I was talking about all league tables not just the Times. And, while we're at it, if you're going to write in English at least do it right.
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