Sancte
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Does anyone know what exactly it is about King's College that the Guardian is so determined to disadvantage? For a school of its historical prestige, international reputation and global impact and employability, surely 40th on the latest university rankings is a joke.

According to the Guardian, who have notably been consistently critical of King's in its league tables of recent years, we are now one of the lowest-ranked universities in the Russell Group. King's College barely features in the top third of universities in the United Kingdom, finishing behind Heriot-Watt, UEA, Kent, Aston, SOAS, Reading, University of the Arts London, Queen Mary University of London, City University London, Royal Holloway, Strathclyde and Oxford Brookes. In the global rankings as published by QS, on the other hand, we stand as the 19th highest regarded institution on the planet.

While the subjective nature of rankings and league tables is well known and documented, why is the Guardian specifically eager to downplay one university in particular, one that has just made the nation proud by producing two Nobel Prize winners in the past year? Let us come together in the quest, for once and for all, to find out why the Guardian hates King's!
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dxronop
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Well , I have the same question as you .. It is not only KCL ( imperial is nowhere to be seen )

Although that I will study in Queen Mary for an MSc in Finance, I don't really get how can LSE be below Qmul... I would like to know more about the reliability of those Rankings..


note: I am talking about the Economics and Accounting and Finance Rankings.
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Old_Simon
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For over 50 years at least Kings has been hoovering up a certain type of student.
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gr8wizard10
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How is Hull below [email protected][email protected]@! :eek: Fake rankings.
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dxronop
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
For over 50 years at least Kings has been hoovering up a certain type of student.

Hello ,

Could you be more specific?

Also , do you consider these rankings reliable ?

For a personal question now , what do you think about Queen Mary ( about Economics and Finance )

With regards ,

Ilias
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ThatPerson
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
For over 50 years at least Kings has been hoovering up a certain type of student.
*cough* Peter Higgs *cough*
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MichelBraga
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There's a load of reasons: The Guardian is a lefty-paper, and since the arts & humanities firing scandal at King's, the newspaper has constantly attacked the institution for its "disrespectful" action against its teachers. There's also the "posh" image associated with King's, another motivation for all this retaliation.

Ignore all league tables, they focus on pathetic points to rank the universities (student satisfaction, spenditure per student, bla bla bla).

The fact is:

Cambridge
Oxford
LSE
Imperial
UCL
King's
Warwick - Durham - St Andrews - Bath - Edinburgh - Manchester - Bristol

This is fact, considering academics, reputation, employability, prestigious visiting teachers, citations, etc, makes this quite obvious. A lot of students will say that St. Andrews is much better than King's/UCL/Imperial, that Warwick is so much better overall than King's, but at the end (real world), that's the ranking.
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Sancte
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(Original post by MichelBraga)
There's a load of reasons: The Guardian is a lefty-paper, and since the arts & humanities firing scandal at King's, the newspaper has constantly attacked the institution for its "disrespectful" action against its teachers. There's also the "posh" image associated with King's, another motivation for all this retaliation.

Ignore all league tables, they focus on pathetic points to rank the universities (student satisfaction, spenditure per student, bla bla bla).

The fact is:

Cambridge
Oxford
LSE
Imperial
UCL
King's
Warwick - Durham - St Andrews - Bath - Edinburgh - Manchester - Bristol

This is fact, considering academics, reputation, employability, prestigious visiting teachers, citations, etc, makes this quite obvious. A lot of students will say that St. Andrews is much better than King's/UCL/Imperial, that Warwick is so much better overall than King's, but at the end (real world), that's the ranking.
As I had expected. The Arts & Humanities scandal was the only thing I could think of, and perhaps the conservative nature of the university; a focus on traditional and right-wing departments like War Studies probably does the College no favours with the Guardian. That said, surely there is no way the journalists behind these supposed "academic rankings" would attack an institution for its image? In any case I did laugh out loud at having to scroll all the way down to 40th to see King's on the list. Good banter. How are they getting away with this? Amazing!
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MichelBraga
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(Original post by zizi.karl)
As I had expected. The Arts & Humanities scandal was the only thing I could think of, and perhaps the conservative nature of the university; a focus on traditional and right-wing departments like War Studies probably does the College no favours with the Guardian. That said, surely there is no way the journalists behind these supposed "academic rankings" would attack an institution for its image? In any case I did laugh out loud at having to scroll all the way down to 40th to see King's on the list. Good banter. How are they getting away with this? Amazing!
They get away because a considerable part of the country believes in this crap, and also there's a natural disdain on England over the London-segment of the Golden Triangle. Apart from UCL and its secular tradition, LSE, Imperial and King's are targeted for its elitist nature (which is nonsense, King's and LSE accept students from everywhere, no matter their social and economical perspective, and Imperial has improved considerably in this aspect). So, seriously, across TSR you will hear a lot of support over the League Tables, underestimating King's A LOT, but this is long-time brain wash. At the end, King's is still a global brand name.
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MichelBraga
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(Original post by TheGuyReturns)
I agree with most of what has been written. There has been something else on my mind though, it's quite strange how King's is falling down national tables and at the same time, rising in international tables. From a business perspective, this is a pretty brilliant result. You get stronger international students who will pay more money and will generally be more motivated than home students, lose strong home students so you can justify rejecting a greater proportion of them while the government (and society in general) will be unable to be angry at you for giving international students more places (over sub-par home students). All the while the university loses no prestige at all because of how old and well regarded it is.
Some serious ZEITGEIST **** you just said, hahahah. Yes, financially, this is great for King's, but the cause is local, there's no strategy from the school itself. Looking forward to see King's position in this year QS and THE rankings.
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stylejy
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I'm an current international student at King's. I'm worried the series of league tables which are shown for King's has been falling consistently affects the uni's reputation by international students. In county's biggest studying abroad website, King's used to be one of the top uni in the UK until 10 years ago. Now it's said to be less attractive more and more and worthless to study abroad with paying a lot. I think the school has to take action to sort it out to maintain its reputation in the future.
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MichelBraga
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(Original post by stylejy)
I'm an current international student at King's. I'm worried the series of league tables which are shown for King's has been falling consistently affects the uni's reputation by international students. In county's biggest studying abroad website, King's used to be one of the top uni in the UK until 10 years ago. Now it's said to be less attractive more and more and worthless to study abroad with paying a lot. I think the school has to take action to sort it out to maintain its reputation in the future.
Well, at least in my country, King's image remains unaffected. And if you consider the jobs prospects, there's no change at all.
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russellsteapot
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It's an interesting one, really, and raises the question of whether a university should be able to live on 'prestige' and 'reputation' forever. And if such qualities are inalienable, how exactly does one examine the actual current quality of a university? And how do 'newer' universities such as York or Warwick gain relative prestige over established universities?

Not that league tables mean anything to me anyway. But it makes me chuckle seeing everyone suddenly turn on this year's Guardian table because it messes with what they think they know about where institutions should be ranked.

And not that Kings is **** (I'm sure it's fine), but hypothetically, should a historically relevant, famous university be allowed to turn **** and still be highly regarded? It seems like you're saying it should be, because it's famous and 'prestigious'. If someone gets a better education at Oxford Brookes, shouldn't Oxford Brookes hold more prestige?
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MichelBraga
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You have a point, for an university that for a long time was even better than LSE and Imperial, it's a fact that KCL is experiencing the consequences of really bad administrations. However, the historical importance and the reputation that the university holds will always count.

And the Guardian table relies on aspects that cannot translate the quaility of an institution, such as student satisfaction. For instance, students that go to King's normally have bigger expectations than students that go to Warwick, York, etc. And student satisfaction normally is affected by the place where the student lives. Life at countryside unis like Durham, Bath, St Andrews is much more welcoming than living in the madness that is London. A lot of students struggle with the London factor. So, at the end, the experience of King's students might be good, but still, the higher expectations tend to affect the university ranking.

Therefore, when you look at King's position at rankings like QS and THE, which are based on more objective figures like employer reputation, citations, academic reputation and research investiment, then you see what the university really can offer for your future. I'm not saying that Bath, Durham, York and Warwick are **** universities, but League Table doesn't translate the potential and quality of an university.
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cambio wechsel
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How do people imagine that The Guardian is tweaking the figures to serve its claimed grudge?

Does King's report a staff student ratio of 10:1 and they smudge the figure to read it as 20:1, do you think?

You can like or dislike the Guardian methodology but it doesn't obviously offer room for the pursuing of venedettas.
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MichelBraga
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(Original post by cambio wechsel)
How do people imagine that The Guardian is tweaking the figures to serve its claimed grudge?

Does King's report a staff student ratio of 10:1 and they smudge the figure to read it as 20:1, do you think?

You can like or dislike the Guardian methodology but it doesn't obviously offer room for the pursuing of venedettas.
I'm a little confused. King's staff student ratio reported by the Tables is 11.4. Only UCL and Oxford are ahead, and considering that UCL and Oxford receive more income for research (King's has a more professional profile), King's is quite good at this aspect. What downgrades King's is that the home entry tariff which is quite low (in compensation, international entry tariff is higher than UCL, LSE, Warwick, Durham, Edinburgh - only Oxbridge and St Andrews beat it in this aspect), and the satisfaction issue, which I have explained earlier. So, because of really subjective figures, King's ends up at 40th. And the funny thing is that the Guardian sells this as the most important and reliable ranking in the planet.
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by MichelBraga)
I'm a little confused. King's staff student ratio reported by the Tables is 11.4. Only UCL and Oxford are ahead...
if you mean confused by my example figure, it was a randomly generated fiction.

My point was that I don't see room for claimed conspiracy against specifically King's. The Guardian doesn't even collect figures, it uses the publicly available HEFCE figures and puts these through a formula that is as well available for anyone to see and which is applied universally.

The only way it could be that the Guardian is sticking the boot into this one school is if the whole survey is expressly designed for that specific purpose, with factors that might positively effect specifically King's excluded for that reason so as to do King's down. And that seems a peculiar reach.
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MichelBraga
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(Original post by cambio wechsel)
if you mean confused by my example figure, it was a randomly generated fiction.

My point was that I don't see room for claimed conspiracy against specifically King's. The Guardian doesn't even collect figures, it uses the publicly available HEFCE figures and puts these through a formula that is as well available for anyone to see and which is applied universally.

The only way it could be that the Guardian is sticking the boot into this one school is if the whole survey is expressly designed for that specific purpose, with factors that might positively effect specifically King's excluded for that reason so as to do King's down. And that seems a peculiar reach.
Oh, sorry, I didn't get it at first!

If the Guardian really wanted, it could have done a more complete evaluation, considering academic aspects, research, visiting scholars per year, citations... No, they prefer subjective aspects focusing on "student life" and their "Guardian" formula, which evaluated King's with a 64.5/100. I support the Guardian political views, but it's an extremely biased journal.
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Sancte
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In what universe does King's College rank behind Oxford Brookes?

And in what respect? Does the Guardian take research into account? Groundbreaking research, medical health centre, Nobel prizes, anyone? Alumni? International recognition? Employer reputation and feedback? Entry tariffs? Career prospects? I can't think of a single measure by which the latter ranks higher and am genuinely puzzled!
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vnupe
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The Guardian's "metrics" should be viewed with a healthy dose of scepticism, if not for the fact of its volatility. There is absolutely no way that year on year there is that much volatility in the metrics defining each university.
In consideration of said volatility which is demonstrated in the Guardians tables except miraculously for Oxbridge ( I wonder why)... What exactly does the table illustrate? The fickle nature of undergrads, when the number one metric is student satisfaction... How is that suitably demonstrated? What about the self reporting component... Obviously those institutions which have the greatest percentage of student responding to the voluntary survey (and especially in a positive way) will tip the scales in their favour...
Additionally what does this metric measure, is it academic rigour, is it the sociability quotient of the university, is it a combination?
These soft metrics which are leading areas on which the table is based are vexing to say the least and perplexing and unhelpful when scrutinised...
For me it's much to do about nothing, and a social experiment of how the tail wags the dog... Employers pay no attention to such tables. The only ones who seem to are administrators (built in self interest there) and impressionable 18 yo and their parents who seem to be allowing a newspaper to take a healthy, even leading role in a decision which will impact their life or their child's life for years to come... Curious indeed...
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