Is the guardian a reliable league table

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Patrick_yt099
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What is the most reliable and trust worthy league table?
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Patrick_yt099)
What is the most reliable and trust worthy league table?
yes and no.

look at the CRITERIA that makes up the rankings, not the rankings themselves which are an arbitrary composite of the different weightings given to each criteria
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ageshallnot
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The Guardian has more brain farts than the others.
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harrysbar
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As above 😂

I much prefer to use the Complete University Guide (CUG)
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artful_lounger
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Is there such a thing as a reliable league table?

At the end of the day, league tables all use different methodologies to measure slightly different things, which they then use to assign some form of ranking to universities. Whether a league table is useful to you depends on how relevant the methodology and things being measures are to what you are trying to find out about unis. Some people would consider student satisfaction ratings more important, others spend per student, others student:staff ratios, while still others will value average grad earnings indicators.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by Patrick_yt099)
What is the most reliable and trust worthy league table?
As already said it is the least reliable and has huge fluctuations each year. Cug is more consistent and student satisfaction rates are not used to the same degree. A couple of disgruntled students can adversely affect the Guardian rankings greatly, In the current Guardian league table LSE which is regarded as one of the leading UK universities ranks 19th below the likes of Nottingham Trent, Coventry and Lincoln which do not have such lofty reputations.
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PQ
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
As already said it is the least reliable and has huge fluctuations each year. Cug is more consistent and student satisfaction rates are not used to the same degree. A couple of disgruntled students can adversely affect the Guardian rankings greatly, In the current Guardian league table LSE which is regarded as one of the leading UK universities ranks 19th below the likes of Nottingham Trent, Coventry and Lincoln which do not have such lofty reputations.
NSS has a higher weighting in the CUG and Times subject tables than in the Guardian.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by PQ)
NSS has a higher weighting in the CUG and Times subject tables than in the Guardian.
So why do universities like LSE, UCL and Kings come out so badly in the Guardian.
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ThiagoBrigido
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Excluding the top 5, the rest of the list is just an up and down seesaw. Just a nitty way to distribute students across the country.
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mnot
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(Original post by Patrick_yt099)
What is the most reliable and trust worthy league table?
No, I sincerely recommend not using league tables.

Create your own list of criteria of what makes a good uni:
-Careers, research, location, prestige, cost of living, course, campus, student life

and make your own opinions on each own using reliable sourced data.
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PQ
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
So why do universities like LSE, UCL and Kings come out so badly in the Guardian.
Because they aren't getting propped up by high REF scores for their research between 2008 and 2014.
The guardian methodology builds the overall ranking from each subject table performance - a university needs to be consistently strong across all their subjects to do well overall. The CUG and Times rankings just produce a separate table with a completely different methodology for the overall ranking and each subject ranking.
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PQ
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(Original post by Patrick_yt099)
What is the most reliable and trust worthy league table?
It's as trustworthy as any table (and in some cases more reliable - CUG tables for example cannot be replicated using the source data and the stated methodology - they add in "adjustments" to keep the universities they want at the top...).

Having met with and worked with all the university league table compilers I would say the guardian actually have the most student centred methodology and motivation. They don't fiddle the results if the data doesn't reflect their prejudice, they work hard to stop universities playing the system and hiding weak performance and they don't pander to the university sector if they think there's important information that applicants should know.

All league tables are just one way of ranking universities though - think about what's important to you and look at the detailed underlying data for your course on discover uni. A low student satisfaction is one thing - a low score in a question that asks about something that doesn't matter to you (or that does) is another matter, a good employability score is one thing, finding out that the score is high because lots of graduates from that course go on to another degree because the degree wasn't enough to get into the job they want is another matter.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by PQ)
Because they aren't getting propped up by high REF scores for their research between 2008 and 2014.
The guardian methodology builds the overall ranking from each subject table performance - a university needs to be consistently strong across all their subjects to do well overall. The CUG and Times rankings just produce a separate table with a completely different methodology for the overall ranking and each subject ranking.
Whatever rankings they are using doesnt seem to work According to the Guardian Trinity St Davids which often takes students with quote low grades ranks higher than Kings which has a big international reputation.
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PQ
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
Whatever rankings they are using doesnt seem to work According to the Guardian Trinity St Davids which often takes students with quote low grades ranks higher than Kings which has a big international reputation.
The guardian isn't measuring international reputation or entry grades though
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by PQ)
The guardian isn't measuring international reputation or entry grades though
So if you were a student would you trust a ranking that show Nottingham Trent 12th Coventry 15th Lincoln 17th Portsmouth 21st above UCL 22nd Manchester 40th and Sheffield 45th and places Nottingham Trent above Nottingham.
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GlutenEnthusiast
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None of them matter.
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PQ
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
So if you were a student would you trust a ranking that show Nottingham Trent 12th Coventry 15th Lincoln 17th Portsmouth 21st above UCL 22nd Manchester 40th and Sheffield 45th and places Nottingham Trent above Nottingham.
See:
(Original post by PQ)
It's as trustworthy as any table (and in some cases more reliable - CUG tables for example cannot be replicated using the source data and the stated methodology - they add in "adjustments" to keep the universities they want at the top...).

Having met with and worked with all the university league table compilers I would say the guardian actually have the most student centred methodology and motivation. They don't fiddle the results if the data doesn't reflect their prejudice, they work hard to stop universities playing the system and hiding weak performance and they don't pander to the university sector if they think there's important information that applicants should know.

All league tables are just one way of ranking universities though - think about what's important to you and look at the detailed underlying data for your course on discover uni. A low student satisfaction is one thing - a low score in a question that asks about something that doesn't matter to you (or that does) is another matter, a good employability score is one thing, finding out that the score is high because lots of graduates from that course go on to another degree because the degree wasn't enough to get into the job they want is another matter.
Many of the universities you're mentioning also got Gold in the TEF. The Guardian methodology/results most closely matches the TEF results - in terms of identifying universities that value and deliver excellent TEACHING it's a good source.

Deciding on the right university isn't just a matter of picking the best in any ranking - it's about finding the right fit. Understanding that some universities (particularly some large RG universities) prioritise research over teaching and will offer a very different teaching experience (waiting for months for feedback, finding the feedback unhelpful etc etc) is important to help applicants make an INFORMED decision about where to study and to start their course better prepared for the sort of teaching they're likely to receive.
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qwertyuiosd
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No, it's one of the worst rankings since it skews the positioning too much by student satisfaction, hence universities where you work much less and probably learn less are placed too highly just because the students might feel less stressed. Unis like LSE and UCL place far lower down than they should be because of this. Also the individual subject rankings are bad because the 'value added' ranking goes against universities with high entry requirements, for example Imperial is ranked lower than Liverpool John Moores for maths even though it's much stronger for maths.
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mnot
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League tables are not fit for purpose.

They tabulate a handful of characteristics that seem appropriate but use a flawed methodology and poor source data. Besides every student wants something slightly different.

I strongly suggest all applicants evaluate each uni individually on the factors that matter most to them.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by PQ)
See:

Many of the universities you're mentioning also got Gold in the TEF. The Guardian methodology/results most closely matches the TEF results - in terms of identifying universities that value and deliver excellent TEACHING it's a good source.

Deciding on the right university isn't just a matter of picking the best in any ranking - it's about finding the right fit. Understanding that some universities (particularly some large RG universities) prioritise research over teaching and will offer a very different teaching experience (waiting for months for feedback, finding the feedback unhelpful etc etc) is important to help applicants make an INFORMED decision about where to study and to start their course better prepared for the sort of teaching they're likely to receive.
so how do you justify the increase of 34 places for Ulster and 29 for UWTSD in 1 year and the 30 places drop for Kent and the 35 places drop for Essex over 1 year.
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