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Gold, Silver and Bronze Universities

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    So this is one way that English universities are going to be categorised, phasing in from next year:

    https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...ver-and-bronze

    What are people's thoughts on this?

    - Why has this been decided?
    - What effect might it have?
    - Which universities will receive which rating?
    - Do you think it's a good idea?
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    So people don't waste 9 grand a year going to Angila Ruskin.
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    (Original post by BobBobson)
    So people don't waste 9 grand a year going to Angila Ruskin.
    The thing is, will it actually reduce the number of people going to what will be 'Bronze' universities? One key reason for going to those unis, surely, is because of the grade boundaries - we can't all go to Oxford (I didn't, lol). But many people want degrees. Will it actually result in any fewer people getting degrees from universities that don't look great on your CV?

    Maybe you're right and it will. Maybe those people will be more inclined to go for, say, a Higher Apprenticeship which would be better for their careers in the long run.

    One thing I worry about is more 'vocational' universities, typically lower in the league tables, being the ones that offer degrees such as Nursing and Midwifery. What if these universities are harmed by the Bronze rating? Only a few top universities offer those courses.
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    (Original post by abc:))
    (...) What are people's thoughts on this?

    - Why has this been decided?
    - What effect might it have?
    - Which universities will receive which rating?
    - Do you think it's a good idea?
    I guess, it would lead to a competition in terms of getting more appreciation as university. Thus the universities are trying to invest more in quality as it is, be it the best lecturers or professors, be it an establishment with better equipment.

    I guess well known universities with good reputation (Oxford, Cambridge etc.) have the best chances to get such ratings. But I hope that unknown good working universities are awarded too. And from this point of view it may a good idea, as unknown universities with good learning and teaching standards*get a greater focus and thus an attention in the public. This may lead to a good reputation.*

    In total the concept seems to be nice in my view. *
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    (Original post by Kallisto)
    I guess, it would lead to a competition in terms of getting more appreciation as university. Thus the universities are trying to invest more in quality as it is, be it the best lecturers or professors, be it an establishment with better equipment.

    I guess well known universities with good reputation (Oxford, Cambridge etc.) have the best chances to get such ratings. But I hope that unknown good working universities are awarded too. And from this point of view it may a good idea, as unknown universities with good learning and teaching standards*get a greater focus and thus an attention in the public. This may lead to a good reputation.*

    In total the concept seems to be nice in my view. *
    I agree, to an extent. I would really hope that some traditionally less prestigious universities could shine through.

    side note case in point, I've worked at Aston University for the past year, and because it's in the same city as the University of Birmingham it tends to be overshadowed and thought of as an inferior uni. I tended to think that when I was Sixth Form age too. And I've noticed some people expressing that opinion on here. But actually it is 30th in the league tables, not bad for a relatively young uni, and in my experience the teaching quality is brilliant, as is the support, and the huge emphasis on placements and careers. It is a shame it doesn't get more credit. and this has made me think there must be some other universities like this as well.

    I worry about the system using the same criteria as the league tables, few of which actually reflect teaching quality and some seem fairly irrelevant depending on which table you look at. I also worry about the effect of lumping a very wide range of unis, with different merits, into 3 simplified categories. A lot of what makes certain unis good or special could be lost?
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    (Original post by abc:))
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    I have read that the concept is in development in should be tested first. Maybe it is better to award universities in a so called year competition. That is to say, it is awarded the best three places to universities every year. Students would get an overview about the awardings. That may help students to come to a decision. *
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    I hope the Russell group Unis will be gold. I hope whoever designs this system doesn't just look at the league tables and says 'top 10 = gold, top 20= silver, and bronze for the rest'. I hope it is worked out fairly and properly. Obviously, I expect the ex-polys to be mostly bronze, but what about those unis in between Russel group and ex-poly, like Reading for example. Would they be silver universities? The whole idea seems flawed. It seems a bit too far to reduce and summarise everything about a universities to one word. There are many different types of unis out there, each with their own specialisation. The methodology used in this gold/silver/bronze must not be too simple/reductive, else it will mislead students and damage universities forever.
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    (Original post by Voi)
    I hope the Russell group Unis will be gold. I hope whoever designs this system doesn't just look at the league tables and says 'top 10 = gold, top 20= silver, and bronze for the rest'. I hope it is worked out fairly and properly. Obviously, I expect the ex-polys to be mostly bronze, but what about those unis in between Russel group and ex-poly, like Reading for example. Would they be silver universities? The whole idea seems flawed. It seems a bit too far to reduce and summarise everything about a universities to one word. There are many different types of unis out there, each with their own specialisation. The methodology used in this gold/silver/bronze must not be too simple/reductive, else it will mislead students and damage universities forever.
    Wow I just googled ex-polys and there's way fewer than I thought there were! I agree that it is reductive. Universities have their own 'things' which don't always translate to these types of tests. I dunno, I've mentioned Aston but also Birmingham City uni (an ex-poly) has a course called 'Applied Performance'. It's like drama, but with a community focus. Now if you study that you can go into all kinds of community style and arts-related careers and I know 3 people off that course (I met them all separately, weirdly) who are doing better and more interesting things with their lives than I am. Yet BCU is unlikely to get a good 'medal' because perhaps its overall performance isn't amazing. And then fewer people will know about that one gem of a course.
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    (Original post by abc:))
    Wow I just googled ex-polys and there's way fewer than I thought there were! I agree that it is reductive. Universities have their own 'things' which don't always translate to these types of tests. I dunno, I've mentioned Aston but also Birmingham City uni (an ex-poly) has a course called 'Applied Performance'. It's like drama, but with a community focus. Now if you study that you can go into all kinds of community style and arts-related careers and I know 3 people off that course (I met them all separately, weirdly) who are doing better and more interesting things with their lives than I am. Yet BCU is unlikely to get a good 'medal' because perhaps its overall performance isn't amazing. And then fewer people will know about that one gem of a course.
    Why is it unlikely to get a good medal?. How do you know whether its teaching of Applied Performance is worse than the teaching of whatever you studied, wherever you studied it?
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    (Original post by Voi)
    I hope the Russell group Unis will be gold. I hope whoever designs this system doesn't just look at the league tables and says 'top 10 = gold, top 20= silver, and bronze for the rest'. (...)
    Apart from this, it makes no sense to award more than one university with gold, silver or bronze, as these rankings exist once only. I still stick to my idea for an each year competition.
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    It's a way for lazy people who can't be bothered to properly research what university would be best for them in all ways (academic, pastoral, environmental) to choose one based a sticker. It's a gimmick.
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    (Original post by Voi)
    I hope the Russell group Unis will be gold.
    They wont (or at least not all of them)

    The TEF uses the following metrics and is unlikely to award anything above bronze to universities that don't outperform the sector once subject mix, entry qualifications and a few other things (age, ethnicity, sex, disability, participation rates of postcodes) have been adjusted for.

    Teaching quality
    NSS teaching
    NSS assessment and feed back

    Learning environment
    NSS academic support
    Non continuation after first year

    Student outcomes and learning gain
    Employment/further study 6 months after graduation
    Highly skill employment 6 months after graduation

    It's unlikely that many members of the Russell Group will be performing above BENCHMARKS for these measures or across the majority of the measures.

    The guidance used by the panel is
    - A provider with 3 or more positive flags and no negative flags should be considered initially as GOLD
    - A provider with 2 or more negative flags should be considered initially as BRONZE
    - All other providers should be considered initially as SILVER

    When the THE produced a mock TEF (looking at only 1 years data and only 1 question from the NSS and not at the specific 3 sections that make up 50% of the TEF):
    LSE, KCL, UCL and Bristol all came out as significantly below benchmarks for NSS.
    Manchester, QMUL, Sheffield and Liverpool all came out below benchmarks for employability.

    That's a large chunk of the RG looking like they're going to have to do some amazing talking (or hope that the more detailed data is more positive) to avoid a BRONZE rating.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-specification
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    You are all missing the point, there are already these things in place. There are league tables reviews and all kinds of rankings for anyone that looks. I am not against comparing and ranking universities. I could go to the extreme almost an autistic obsession, If I had the time I would learn all the intricate details of every course at every university the grade requirements the contact time the graduate prospects etc.

    So someone putting this all together for me, should sound convenient. However I have strong doubts right now I have Russel group and league tables I try to find a university that is ideally in the Russel group is in the top 100 in the world as a university institution and top 100 in the world for my subject. I then look at contact hours support supervisions/tutorials how many and ratio student to lecture etc.

    Gold silver and bronze stars are unlikely to shake anything up as I have a strong feeling all the universities I currently look at should get gold. If they start giving Oxbridge silver and Hertfordshire gold then it would be pretty hard to take seriously.

    the real reason they are doing this is to hike the heck out of tuition fees, then justify it by saying ah but they are a gold standard university. this is an easy way to manipulate the masses. the Ironic thing is though if the ranking system is proper then the majority of students going to gold standard universities will be in the minority that is smart enough to think for themselves see this for what it is and figure it all out. The problem is they will feel like I often feel and lose the will to breath and just suck it up because they don't have the energy anymore. Whilst the masses will just say ah yes but you should pay more it is a gold standard university.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    They wont (or at least not all of them)

    The TEF uses the following metrics and is unlikely to award anything above bronze to universities that don't outperform the sector once subject mix, entry qualifications and a few other things (age, ethnicity, sex, disability, participation rates of postcodes) have been adjusted for.

    Teaching quality
    NSS teaching
    NSS assessment and feed back

    Learning environment
    NSS academic support
    Non continuation after first year

    Student outcomes and learning gain
    Employment/further study 6 months after graduation
    Highly skill employment 6 months after graduation

    It's unlikely that many members of the Russell Group will be performing above BENCHMARKS for these measures or across the majority of the measures.

    The guidance used by the panel is
    - A provider with 3 or more positive flags and no negative flags should be considered initially as GOLD
    - A provider with 2 or more negative flags should be considered initially as BRONZE
    - All other providers should be considered initially as SILVER

    When the THE produced a mock TEF (looking at only 1 years data and only 1 question from the NSS and not at the specific 3 sections that make up 50% of the TEF):
    LSE, KCL, UCL and Bristol all came out as significantly below benchmarks for NSS.
    Manchester, QMUL, Sheffield and Liverpool all came out below benchmarks for employability.

    That's a large chunk of the RG looking like they're going to have to do some amazing talking (or hope that the more detailed data is more positive) to avoid a BRONZE rating.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-specification
    quotas always end up been racist. No university should be assessed on this criteria unless actual racism can be proved (eg actual discrimination against blacks etc) I want to do a maths degree and every course I look at mentions wanting to get more women into maths, you know as a white Jewish Male I find it very hard to believe I would be assessed fairly. Lets assume for arguments sake that I get A*A*A* and then they have a female who got A*AB the course is full up they have one place left to give its me or her everything else is equal except for the grades who do you think is gaining that place?

    if it was possible to bet at the bookies in a reliable way on this I would bet strongly on the girl. does that seem fair?
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    quotas always end up been racist. No university should be assessed on this criteria unless actual racism can be proved (eg actual discrimination against blacks etc) I want to do a maths degree and every course I look at mentions wanting to get more women into maths, you know as a white Jewish Male I find it very hard to believe I would be assessed fairly. Lets assume for arguments sake that I get A*A*A* and then they have a female who got A*AB the course is full up they have one place left to give its me or her everything else is equal except for the grades who do you think is gaining that place?

    if it was possible to bet at the bookies in a reliable way on this I would bet strongly on the girl. does that seem fair?
    There's no mention of quotas anywhere in my post or in the methodology or statistics used.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    There's no mention of quotas anywhere in my post or in the methodology or statistics used.
    true just I hate seeing race religion or disability been mentioned in anyway in the admissions process for anything. I strongly believe this should all be completely irrelevant. People should get assessed on their academic performance and ability and Racial/Gender issues should be utterly irrelevant to the whole process.
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    true just I hate seeing race religion or disability been mentioned in anyway in the admissions process for anything. I strongly believe this should all be completely irrelevant. People should get assessed on their academic performance and ability and Racial/Gender issues should be utterly irrelevant to the whole process.
    BENCHMARKING performance allowing for the profile of students/graduates has nothing to do with admissions.

    This is about assessing the performance of a university (not individual students) ALLOWING for their subject mix and student mix where there's evidence that that has an impact of metrics. If those factors aren't allowed for then what is measured isn't the performance of the university.

    Religion is not included in the benchmarking adjustments.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Why is it unlikely to get a good medal?. How do you know whether its teaching of Applied Performance is worse than the teaching of whatever you studied, wherever you studied it?
    Ok I probably should have said 'could be unlikely'. Because who knows which uni will get which rating, but you can probably assume that it will somewhat follow the current league tables.
    What I studied was incredibly poorly taught and other aspects of my university such as general experience and careers advice were ok but not excellent, at least not compared to the university I now study at. Hence, the people I know from BCU are now doing better things careers-wise with their lives than I am. This is despite the fact that I went to a 'better' university. This raises two issues with the medal system:

    1. A university's place in a league table doesn't always reflect how good it is in reality, particularly on an individual rather than statistical basis, due to faults in how its success is measured. If the medal follows this system which it inevitably will to an extent then it will throw up the same problems.
    2. The medals are awarded to the university overall, not to individual subjects. So whilst an average university may have an outstanding department this may not translate to a good medal. Similarly if a good university has a terrible department (as was my experience) this also won't necessarily be reflected in the awarding of the medal.

    This is what I was trying to say earlier but probably didn't get across very well.
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    Finally, some much needed competition within the higher education sector. Not much, but it's a start. Now let's get these universities privatised, fees raised, loan system abolished, and we'll be on the right track.
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    (Original post by #ChaosKass)
    Finally, some much needed competition within the higher education sector. Not much, but it's a start. Now let's get these universities privatised, fees raised, loan system abolished, and we'll be on the right track.
    Are you high?
 
 
 
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