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which rankings are better world rankings (eg QS) or national rankings (eg CUG).

What is the difference between the way these two rankings work? Why is a university, such as UCL, ranked 8th globally on QS ranked 10th in the UK league tables? And why are universities ranked highly in the UK (eg Bath) not higher up in the QS rankings?

I’m applying to university this year and recently started looking at rankings, I’m not entirely sure how they work. I know that I shouldn’t apply based on reputation& rankings etc etc but I just wanted to see what the top universities are
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Oxford Mum
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I take rankings with a massive dose of salt. The very fact that they differ so much shows how inaccurate they can be.

For instance the norrington is the ranking system for Oxford colleges. Yet these rankings can differ considerably every year, as the student intake is constantly changing.

My mantra is the course is king. Which course do you prefer? Go along to some open days and speak to the students and tutors, if you have the opportunity . Go along to the subject talks too. London unis were an affordability issue for my son
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PQ
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(Original post by Anonymous)
which rankings are better world rankings (eg QS) or national rankings (eg CUG).

What is the difference between the way these two rankings work? Why is a university, such as UCL, ranked 8th globally on QS ranked 10th in the UK league tables? And why are universities ranked highly in the UK (eg Bath) not higher up in the QS rankings?

I’m applying to university this year and recently started looking at rankings, I’m not entirely sure how they work. I know that I shouldn’t apply based on reputation& rankings etc etc but I just wanted to see what the top universities are
The world rankings use research metrics and surveys of academics (mainly about research) to rank universities.

The UK rankings use mainly teaching related metrics (the CUG and Times include very old national research scores as well to mask year on year changes).

With any rankings you need to read about what they’re measuring and decide whether those are measures that matter to you.
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Samk32
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Just filter the cug rankings by the ucas points column and see where the “smartest” students go to also worth looking for the specific course/department rather than university as a whole
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PQ
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(Original post by Samk32)
Just filter the cug rankings by the ucas points column and see where the “smartest” students go to also worth looking for the specific course/department rather than university as a whole
tariff points do not reflect "smartness". Unless you really think that Strathclyde students are "smarter" than LSE (I mean it's arguable but I doubt that's what your point is)
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Dexter321
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(Original post by Samk32)
Just filter the cug rankings by the ucas points column and see where the “smartest” students go to also worth looking for the specific course/department rather than university as a whole
I agree with PQ. Your method will also discriminate in favour of city Uni's over smaller ones. If you have double the applicants, you're almost certainly going to have higher entry requirements. Many of the brightest candidates pick campus type Uni's as they prefer them. Those tend on whole to get significantly less applicants which means it's harder for those Uni's to fill up places.....lowering entry requirements a bit. Obvious generalisation but valid IMO.
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Samk32
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(Original post by PQ)
tariff points do not reflect "smartness". Unless you really think that Strathclyde students are "smarter" than LSE (I mean it's arguable but I doubt that's what your point is)
https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...t-ucas-points/ Here reads that it’s an average of all the students so yeah I’d rather be around students with high ucas points than around people that scored 150 on average
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PQ
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(Original post by Samk32)
https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...t-ucas-points/ Here reads that it’s an average of all the students so yeah I’d rather be around students with high ucas points than around people that scored 150 on average
I know what is measured. I have improved a number of universities averages by 20 points by sorting out their data. That doesn’t suddenly improve the intelligence of their students it just improves the quality of the data and makes sure that their horse care and music grades are all properly recorded.
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Samk32
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(Original post by PQ)
I know what is measured. I have improved a number of universities averages by 20 points by sorting out their data. That doesn’t suddenly improve the intelligence of their students it just improves the quality of the data and makes sure that their horse care and music grades are all properly recorded.
right so you are telling me that someone's got 100 ucas point is as smart as someone with 200?
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PQ
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(Original post by Samk32)
right so you are telling me that someone's got 100 ucas point is as smart as someone with 200?
Is someone with BBBB (160 tariff points) smarter than someone with AAA (144 tariff points) ?
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Samk32
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(Original post by PQ)
Is someone with BBBB (160 tariff points) smarter than someone with AAA (144 tariff points) ?
depending on the subjects the studied, since you've picked on Strathclyde vs LSE let's dig in shall we?

https://unistats.ac.uk/subjects/entr...eturnTo/Search (LSE ACC & FIN)
https://unistats.ac.uk/subjects/entr...eturnTo/Search (Strathclyde ACC & FIN)

we can clearly see that LSE has taken some students with as low as 48-63 ucas points whereas Strathclyde didn't take anyone below 144 with majority being around 200 whereas LSE 160-180
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PQ
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(Original post by Samk32)
depending on the subjects the studied, since you've picked on Strathclyde vs LSE let's dig in shall we?

https://unistats.ac.uk/subjects/entr...eturnTo/Search (LSE ACC & FIN)
https://unistats.ac.uk/subjects/entr...eturnTo/Search (Strathclyde ACC & FIN)

we can clearly see that LSE has taken some students with as low as 48-63 ucas points whereas Strathclyde didn't take anyone below 144 with majority being around 200 whereas LSE 160-180
Or Strathclyde made sure that their students data was complete and correct and benefited from generous tariffs for scottish qualifications and LSE didn't bother because it doesn't matter if they properly record those 3As at A level from a previous year alongside the 1 A from this year because they're LSE and don't need to worry about a good league table position to be sure of a high demand for places.

LSE 16% of applications get an offer https://university.which.co.uk/londo...0-8e8e20858019
Strathclyde 37% of applications get an offer https://university.which.co.uk/unive...0-38d7fbaf876b

I'm no fan of LSE but the tariff system is not a reflection of selectivity and is not indicative of intelligence of students. It reflects demand, qualification profile of applicants (scottish highers and advanced highers attract much higher tariff in general than A level entrants) AND accuracy of a university's data.
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Samk32
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(Original post by PQ)
LSE 16% of applications get an offer https://university.which.co.uk/londo...0-8e8e20858019
Strathclyde 37% of applications get an offer https://university.which.co.uk/unive...0-38d7fbaf876b
The acceptance rate in the UK is not the best measure either since students have to choose 5 universities on their UCAS application and then shortlist it further to firm and insurance choices. Hence, students have to be cleaver with their choices. In the USA it might make sense as students can apply to as many unis as they want and their offers are being made based on obtained grades(unlike the UK - predicted grades). The truth is the quality of students is far more important than anything else. Best go visit the university and speak to current students to figure out if you can see yourself there etc.
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PQ
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(Original post by Samk32)
The acceptance rate in the UK is not the best measure either since students have to choose 5 universities on their UCAS application and then shortlist it further to firm and insurance choices. Hence, students have to be cleaver with their choices. In the USA it might make sense as students can apply to as many unis as they want and their offers are being made based on obtained grades(unlike the UK - predicted grades). The truth is the quality of students is far more important than anything else. Best go visit the university and speak to current students to figure out if you can see yourself there etc.
Those rates are OFFER rates not acceptance rate. It is the proportion of applications getting an offer. It doesn't look at the proportion accepting their offers at all.

Do you truly believe that someone with BBBB at A level is "smarter" than someone with AAA?
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Samk32
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One of the best rankings in the UK, in my opinion, is https://www.highfliers.co.uk/downloa...GMReport19.pdf page 31 These universities there are most targeted by the employers. Don't spend too much on the international rankings as they mean nothing unless you want to study abroad and then come back to England. Then you might use it as a source of comparison etc. However, if you plan on staying in the UK after your graduation then focus on getting in one of the universities listed in HF report
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Samk32
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(Original post by PQ)
Those rates are OFFER rates not acceptance rate. It is the proportion of applications getting an offer. It doesn't look at the proportion accepting their offers at all.
Offer rate and acceptance rates are the same. The ones you are referring to is admission rates

"Do you truly believe that someone with BBBB at A level is "smarter" than someone with AAA?" as I said that depends on the subjects studied
Last edited by Samk32; 1 week ago
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PQ
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(Original post by Samk32)
Offer rate and acceptance rates are the same. The ones you are referring to is admission rates

"Do you truly believe that someone with BBBB at A level is "smarter" than someone with AAA?" as I said that depends on the subjects studied
no they aren't. Offer rate is % of applications that received an offer. Acceptance rate is either the % of offers that are accepted as firm or the % of applications that are accepted as firm.

Which? university displays the offer rate. The % of applications that are made an offer. It shows just the selectivity of the university.
That is NOT the same as acceptance rate or admission rate.

The Complete University Guide sorted by tariff points doesn't take into account the subjects studied - just the tariff points. D*D*D* Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care will be ranked exactly the same as A*A*A* in A level Maths, Further Maths and Physics and the same as AAA in Advanced Highers in Business management, Gaelic and Drama (although someone with those AH grades would normally have a bunch of extra tariff points from a few Highers as well). If the BTEC student has a few music grades or a house care certificate then they'll get more tariff points.
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Anagogic
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(Original post by PQ)
Those rates are OFFER rates not acceptance rate. It is the proportion of applications getting an offer. It doesn't look at the proportion accepting their offers at all.

Do you truly believe that someone with BBBB at A level is "smarter" than someone with AAA?
Possibly... if the subjects weren't closely related, i.e AAA in maths, physics and further maths vs BBBB in Biology, Chemistry, Philosophy and Maths. Student B is showing a greater skill set vs student A who has mastered one skill. Workload for student B would again be far greater so I'd say there's very little in it.
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PQ
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(Original post by Anagogic)
Possibly... if the subjects weren't closely related, i.e AAA in maths, physics and further maths vs BBBB in Biology, Chemistry, Philosophy and Maths. Student B is showing a greater skill set vs student A who has mastered one skill. Workload for student B would again be far greater so I'd say there's very little in it.
Sam stated that he believes average tariff points identifies where the “smartest” students study. Tariff points don’t make allowances for subject or subject mix. An A* in general studies attracts more tariff points than an A in further maths.

Tariff points don’t measure “smartness”. That isn’t their purpose.
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Dexter321
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(Original post by Anagogic)
Possibly... if the subjects weren't closely related, i.e AAA in maths, physics and further maths vs BBBB in Biology, Chemistry, Philosophy and Maths. Student B is showing a greater skill set vs student A who has mastered one skill. Workload for student B would again be far greater so I'd say there's very little in it.
Building on PQ's accurate responses, I'd like to also add that in your example, Student B is clearly demonstrating a complete lack of common sense (and lack of smartness?) as AAA will get you better options than BBBB. Why some students think it's sensible to do 4 A Levels, esp if they're likely to end up with BBBB, is baffling.
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