CUG league tables 2021 - winners & losers

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swanseajack1
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#21
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#21
(Original post by mnot)
This is what I meant by my earlier comment about tweaking the weightings to ensure Oxbridge has the top spots, hence A-level students open the league tables & instantly think these tables makes total sense; the reality is Oxbridge, Imperial or similar students dont need the CUG to affirm they are picking a strong uni whereas less discerning applicants will open the ranking but might make choices based on the rankings having felt reassured confidence in them because Oxbridge occupy spots 1 & 2.

Generally the trends of where universities roughly in league tables are right but the underlying data is poor and the problem I really have is a potential student will look at the table (or read the ranking on a prospectus) then place that uni in their choices on UCAS purely on the basis of it is a top 20 university yet there may well be an excellent university which in reality is just as good careers/teaching quality etc. and is more suited to the student but because of the data collection it sits at slightly lower and a student misses that opportunity.
I agree with you in as much as you shouldnt use the information to decide if say 14 is better than 15 and no league table will provide that. However it is useful to help someone when they are looking which universities are better. There is hardly any difference between say 20 universities but is useful to decide which 20 to look at.
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PQ
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Look at how the tables are constructed and the validity of the way date is used and collected. Anyone that believes these tables needs to take a course in statistical analysis. It is perfectly possible to take one data set and prove two completely opposite viewpoints.
The CUG isn’t replicat-able. At my previous university the maths dept tried to reproduce the subject table rankings using the published methodology and data - they could only reproduce the rankings by fudging the weightings (nearly always in a way to move oxford or Cambridge from top 10 to top spot🤔).

the times and guardian are both more reliable in terms of actually ranking using the published methodology- although the guardian is a huge task to re-model due to the methodology and the fact that the ranked metrics aren’t published in raw form.
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PQ
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#23
(Original post by harrysbar)
And if Russell group stands for nothing as so many people on TSR like to say, why are so many of them in the top 20 :confused:

Cambridge
Oxford
St Andrews
LSE
Imperial
Loughborough
Durham
Lancaster
Bath
UCL
Warwick
Exeter
Birmingham
Bristol
Edinburgh
Leeds
Manchester
Southampton
Glasgow
Nottingham/Kings

RG is a group of research focused universities.

The CUG has a massive weighting on REF 2014 results.

I would say that demonstrates a flaw in the methodology rather than a justification of the marketing strategies of RG members.
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harrysbar
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#24
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#24
(Original post by swanseajack1)
When you look at the Guardian rakings LSE comes out 19th UCL 22nd and Kings 63rd yet Nottingham Trent was 12th Coventry 15th and Lincoln 17th. I am more likely to trust CUG even with its faults. Most People believe Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and Imperial College to be the best universities and they occupy 4 of the top 5 places. If these are right why should others be wrong.
Yes the Guardian is a particularly strange one to most people
(Original post by mnot)
Generally the trends of where universities roughly in league tables are right but the underlying data is poor and the problem I really have is a potential student will look at the table (or read the ranking on a prospectus) then place that uni in their choices on UCAS purely on the basis of it is a top 20 university yet there may well be an excellent university which in reality is just as good careers/teaching quality etc. and is more suited to the student but because of the data collection it sits at slightly lower and a student misses that opportunity.
If the trends are roughly right in your opinion then isn't that better than not having league tables at all? I understand that students may worry unnecessarily about unis going up or down a handful of places in any one particular year but they are an easy reference guide for students who get zero guidance from home/school.
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harrysbar
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#25
(Original post by PQ)
RG is a group of research focused universities.

The CUG has a massive weighting on REF 2014 results.

I would say that demonstrates a flaw in the methodology rather than a justification of the marketing strategies of RG members.
I know what they are and my comment about RG was partly said to encourage people to post because everyone has an opinion on RG!

But some people looking at league tables do have an interest in going to a uni that scores highly for its research output. Even if you don't agree with their reasoning, it is an important factor to them
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mnot
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Yes the Guardian is a particularly strange one to most people

If the trends are roughly right in your opinion then isn't that better than not having league tables at all? I understand that students may worry unnecessarily about unis going up or down a handful of places in any one particular year but they are an easy reference guide for students who get zero guidance from home/school.
They definitely fulfil a need, and are the easiest place to get a long list of universities.

My real dislike is they are setup and marketed to look like they have empirical evidence X uni is better then Y, and students think this is some great analytically driven analysis, when it is more a very rough guide and more of a lose indicator of where students should start their search. I just want to make the point so if a year 12 student does use them and also comes on TSR, they know to take them with a huge grain of salt and go do lots of independent research.
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Oxford Mum
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I would not set much store on league tables myself.

I chose Manchester for languages because it was, at the time, third in the uk after Oxbridge at the time. I never went to an open day. I went to a strict girls school and we would never dare ask the teachers which uni we would be best suited to. I was terrible at literature and Manchester was a very traditional course. I would have been better off applying to Aston ( completely language) or Oxford Brookes .

My younger son loves research and academia. He also likes to aim high so Oxford was his dream uni. He went to Edinburgh medical school open day and loved it as well as the city, but he was rejected. He chose kings college London because it was one of the only London medical schools that only wanted aaa and non bmat. He chose Sheffield because it was his local med school and he had heard good things about it. He liked the open day.

A wanted to go to Oxford ever since he was ten years old. Bristol was chosen because of its solid place in the league tables. Leeds has a great reputation for languages and the brochure promised a bit of work experience. He went to both Leeds and Sheffield open days and loved them both. At Sheffield he was ushered into the professor‘S office and discussed the course at length . He was impressed that you could learn Luxembourgish and also Chinese ( Sheffield has an excellent Chinese department.

I hear that muttley wants to compile her own uk university league tables. Actually I think her talents warrant much more than that. What I really want to see is muttley world university rankings, with Oxford Brookes right at the top, and Oxbridge right at the bottom, lol
Last edited by Oxford Mum; 4 weeks ago
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PQ
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(Original post by harrysbar)
I know what they are and my comment about RG was partly said to encourage people to post because everyone has an opinion on RG!

But some people looking at league tables do have an interest in going to a uni that scores highly for its research output. Even if you don't agree with their reasoning, it is an important factor to them
If people are interested in research output then citation metrics or grant tables are more helpful than the 2008-2014 research submitted to the REF 2014
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Realitysreflexx
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Rankings in General are convoluted.... Nottingham for example under performs Loughborough year in and year out...internationally (Loughborough) is not relevant, but not in employability or alumni size... Nottingham for example is a far more famous place and uni. Domestic rankings are trash in general. Bath for example is a flop... But always does exceedingly well in domestic tables...the RG in general probably gives you an equal chance at getting a managerial position or onto a graduate scheme plus a few others.

There should literally be a ranking that takes into account how many people get onto a role that requires a degree. That also takes into account research papers per staff produced that are cited. And faculties spend... Punishment for decrease, rise for increase.

That's about all that really needs to be ranked.
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by mnot)
They definitely fulfil a need, and are the easiest place to get a long list of universities.

My real dislike is they are setup and marketed to look like they have empirical evidence X uni is better then Y, and students think this is some great analytically driven analysis, when it is more a very rough guide and more of a lose indicator of where students should start their search. I just want to make the point so if a year 12 student does use them and also comes on TSR, they know to take them with a huge grain of salt and go do lots of independent research.
Sound's like your tired of the underappreciation of Notts also 😂.
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mnot
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
Sound's like your tired of the underappreciation of Notts also 😂.
I really don’t care specifically about Nottingham.

I moved their for my masters and had offers from places like Warwick & UCL at the time. But I preferred the research at Nottingham in my field and thought student life would be better. I gave a lot of consideration to UCL for the careers edge I thought it might have but ultimately thought id prefer living in Nottingham.
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by mnot)
I really don’t care specifically about Nottingham.

I moved their for my masters and had offers from places like Warwick & UCL at the time. But I preferred the research at Nottingham in my field and thought student life would be better. I gave a lot of consideration to UCL for the careers edge I thought it might have but ultimately thought id prefer living in Nottingham.
Cool, I'm doing the same thing basically for my master's....had an offer to Manchester but decided to take my talents to the Netherlands to get one more different country under my belt before landing in employment for the rest of my life, so i chose University of Groningen.

Also the cost....
£18,500
Vs
£1,800
For 23 higher places in the times higher... 😂 Seemed silly 😋.

I mean i already have one RG degree to me past most filters .
Last edited by Realitysreflexx; 4 weeks ago
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
Rankings in General are convoluted.... Nottingham for example under performs Loughborough year in and year out...internationally (Loughborough) is not relevant, but not in employability or alumni size... Nottingham for example is a far more famous place and uni. Domestic rankings are trash in general. Bath for example is a flop... But always does exceedingly well in domestic tables...the RG in general probably gives you an equal chance at getting a managerial position or onto a graduate scheme plus a few others.

There should literally be a ranking that takes into account how many people get onto a role that requires a degree. That also takes into account research papers per staff produced that are cited. And faculties spend... Punishment for decrease, rise for increase.

That's about all that really needs to be ranked.
Bath is a flop whose graduates have the 5th highest starting rate amongst UK universities £5000 per annum above Nottingham. It also ranks 5th for graduate prospects. Loughborough is 6th Nottingham 9th. It must be a flop but a good flop at that.

https://www.cityam.com/average-gradu...ubject-go-and/
https://www.gradtouch.com/advice/art...pects-for-2020
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harrysbar
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#34
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#34
(Original post by PQ)
If people are interested in research output then citation metrics or grant tables are more helpful than the 2008-2014 research submitted to the REF 2014
You're probably right PQ but I just don't think those things are accessible to the average17/18 year old
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harrysbar
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(Original post by mnot)
I just want to make the point so if a year 12 student does use them and also comes on TSR, they know to take them with a huge grain of salt and go do lots of independent research.
Definitely agree with you about that and I always say league tables aren't everything
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
Rankings in General are convoluted.... Nottingham for example under performs Loughborough year in and year out...internationally (Loughborough) is not relevant, but not in employability or alumni size... Nottingham for example is a far more famous place and uni. Domestic rankings are trash in general. Bath for example is a flop... But always does exceedingly well in domestic tables...the RG in general probably gives you an equal chance at getting a managerial position or onto a graduate scheme plus a few others.

There should literally be a ranking that takes into account how many people get onto a role that requires a degree. That also takes into account research papers per staff produced that are cited. And faculties spend... Punishment for decrease, rise for increase.

That's about all that really needs to be ranked.
I thought the ranking of Nottingham behind Loughborough (and Lancaster?) would bother you RR

Full disclosure is that I consider it higher up myself - higher than Birmingham too but not necessarily higher than Bath. Bath has a long established good reputation in the UK and is really excellent at certain subjects plus has good employability as offers lots of placement years.

The thing about domestic rankings is that most UK students are domestic, so they don't care if certain unis like Bath aren't very well known internationally
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PQ
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(Original post by harrysbar)
You're probably right PQ but I just don't think those things are accessible to the average17/18 year old
Anyone interested in research shouldn’t have any trouble finding that information with a quick bit of research
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harrysbar
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(Original post by PQ)
Anyone interested in research shouldn’t have any trouble finding that information with a quick bit of research
But were you more interested in proper research or quick answers when you were 17?
(I think I know the answer to that one )
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chi2
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Measuring educational output is extremely difficult in any kind of setting, so league tables are futile. When you see the words 'indicators' and/or 'weightings' you know the results are going to be manufactured rubbish.

Even 'pure measures' of education are quite tenuous - such as exam results/degree classifications or employment rates.
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PQ
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(Original post by harrysbar)
But were you more interested in proper research or quick answers when you were 17?
(I think I know the answer to that one )
When I was 17 there were only 2 UK league tables and they were only available in newsprint. Although I did rule out one university because they ranked close to bottom for “quality of accommodation” in one of those newspaper rankings (iirr it was the Sunday times ranking back when they were separate from the times).

But then back then the “brand name” to go for was red brick not russell group

The UCAS “big book” was the source of stats. All focused on student population and the physical/city environment. Plus the careers library (a book shelf) stock of prospectuseseses.

I don’t know where I would have ended up studying if I’d had access to the information now available online.
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