Do you trust league tables and other ranking systems?

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Student07YT
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Hey TSR people,

This has been on my mind for a while because I am in Year 12, just finished and I am thing about university choices. I was wondering if I should really base my choice of university on these league tables, examples below:

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...ables/rankings
http://www.theguardian.com/education...ue-tables-2016

Like, I have talked to people about universities and I do know a good few, but I was thinking what if they are rigged?(inb4 conspiracists):dry:

Guys if you go to university already could you do this?:excited:
1. State what course you're doing.
2. Tell us what you like about the university and/or course.
3. Tell us what you don't like about the university and/or course.
4. Any finishing statements.

All these comments are appreciated for students who are going to be applying to university soon!:five:

Thanks.

Student07YT
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callum_law
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(Original post by Student07YT)
Hey TSR people,

This has been on my mind for a while because I am in Year 12, just finished and I am thing about university choices. I was wondering if I should really base my choice of university on these league tables, examples below:

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...ables/rankings
http://www.theguardian.com/education...ue-tables-2016

Like, I have talked to people about universities and I do know a good few, but I was thinking what if they are rigged?(inb4 conspiracists):dry:

Guys if you go to university already could you do this?:excited:
1. State what course you're doing.
2. Tell us what you like about the university and/or course.
3. Tell us what you don't like about the university and/or course.
4. Any finishing statements.

All these comments are appreciated for students who are going to be applying to university soon!:five:

Thanks.

Student07YT
I don't find the rankings useful at all. I do look at standard entry (the number of UCAS points the average student has -- it can be useful if most people going to a uni are getting ABC/BBB and your offer is AAB), and student satisfaction is useful to the extent you know that only 23% of people like the uni experience (but not if you are deciding between two unis and one has 87% and another has 80%).

CUG is better than Guardian, without a doubt. I don't like the student satisfaction stuff. For me, I just click satisfied on mine without giving it any thought because I know it affects my course's ranking. It's not useful at all, unless the percentage satisfied is shockingly low.
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cleverasvoltaire
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(Original post by Student07YT)
Hey TSR people,

This has been on my mind for a while because I am in Year 12, just finished and I am thing about university choices. I was wondering if I should really base my choice of university on these league tables, examples below:

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...ables/rankings
http://www.theguardian.com/education...ue-tables-2016

Like, I have talked to people about universities and I do know a good few, but I was thinking what if they are rigged?(inb4 conspiracists):dry:

Guys if you go to university already could you do this?:excited:
1. State what course you're doing.
2. Tell us what you like about the university and/or course.
3. Tell us what you don't like about the university and/or course.
4. Any finishing statements.

All these comments are appreciated for students who are going to be applying to university soon!:five:

Thanks.

Student07YT
CUG is quite good however for most subjects I'd go on graduate prospects and REF 2014 rankings, of research.
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claireestelle
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Nss is good to get ideas about student satisfaction
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cambio wechsel
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Yes, I trust them.

No, I don't trust the TSR consituency's capacity to parse them.


And this is the essential tension endlessly revisited on this board. I can conceive of no better argument for compulsory stats and critical thinking in schools than the revealed idiocy of the league-table debates.
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ChoccyPhilly
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(Original post by Student07YT)
Hey TSR people,<br />
<br />
This has been on my mind for a while because I am in Year 12, just finished and I am thing about university choices. I was wondering if I should really base my choice of university on these league tables, examples below:<br />
<br />
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.c o.uk/league-tables/rankings" target="_blank">http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.c o.uk/league-tables/rankings</a><br />
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2015/may/25/university-league-tables-2016" target="_blank">http://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2015/may/25/university-league-tables-2016</a><br />
<br />
Like, I have talked to people about universities and I do know a good few, but I was thinking what if they are rigged?(inb4 conspiracists):dry:<br />
<br />
Guys if you go to university already could you do this?:excited:<br />
1. State what course you're doing.<br />
2. Tell us what you like about the university and/or course.<br />
3. Tell us what you don't like about the university and/or course.<br />
4. Any finishing statements.<br />
<br />
All these comments are appreciated for students who are going to be applying to university soon!:five:<br />
<br />
Thanks.<br />
<br />
Student07YT
Surrey ranked 4th in the country, higher than Durham? Hmmmmmm you don't need to be a genius to see that the tables aren't entirely trustworthy
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Shakz
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To a certain extent...
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Student07YT)
I was thinking what if they are rigged?(inb4 conspiracists):dry:
All league table are rigged to provide movement because that is what attracts attention, that is what sells newspapers and attracts onlline advertising.

Universities are pretty stable organisations. For the most part they teach the same things year after year to similar cohorts of students, the premises for which are largely the same using the same staff.

The level of variation between league table positions from year to year is wholly disproportionate to the likely actual level of variation year on year between universities.

That is for the most part due to constant methodological change in the production of league tables.
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