How do you measure a good university?

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PQ
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This is a question that multiple league tables and rankings try to answer and almost always fail.

So what are the attributes of a "good" university?
And can they be measured?

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."
Probably not Einstein

There's information here: https://www.hepi.ac.uk/2018/01/04/gu...her-education/ about the standard measures used in the UK league tables
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mnot
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Their was a time I used league tables, mostly before I ever attended university, and I'd always check the subject specific one whilst I was an undergrad but I did this more because I knew one of the tables treated my uni well not because it was a good indicator. Although having spent a bit of time looking at the tables data & what they represent I dont believe they are of any good comparative use.

I believe you have to decide what is important in a university for yourself & how much weight you give each factor then start narrowing the pool of which you wish to apply to.

It would be good if their was good indexed quantitative measurable for every factor of a university, but their arent and you have to try and mentally weigh up what is good and what is not.
Their are a few ways of getting some measurables which I think are worth looking at but always need to considered in a wholistic picture.
  • TEF - somewhat asses teaching/educational standard
  • REF power index - a good idea of research (volume & quality) which will impact expertise, HE reputation.
  • Highfliers guide will give some idea of which universities competitive employers target ( you also will need to look much more deeply for industry specific employability info)
  • linkedIn data (you can lookup jobs/companies etc. and back search educational information)

If you look at these things, you can then combine this information with other important considerations when looking at universities which arent as measurable
  • Perceived consensus, speak to lots of course directors and current students for your subject and ask them which unis they view as similar (granted attending open days hasnt been viable this year unfortunately)
  • modules different universities offer
  • the course structure you want
  • Geographical location
  • What the city/culture is like, i.e. do you prefer a small town or big city
  • Cost of living
  • University offerings: facilities, students union student groups, unique opportunities...

Basically decide what you want in a university do some sensible searching for information, talk to as many people as possible but take a wholistic approach. Id also say it matters much more what you do & achieve at university then where you went.
Last edited by mnot; 1 month ago
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𝓖𝓱𝓸𝓼𝓽𝓵𝓪𝓭𝔂
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1) Course and modules
2) Internship and job opportunities, networking chances.
3) Uni and the support system
4) the city and what you are looking for individually ie a city/town/rural uni
5) accommodation and facilities
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Euroliberal
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With a ruler and tape measure
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arialleee
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It's easy to measure a good uni. Just look up general rankings or subject rankings.

But how to measure a good uni for you differs between everyone. Do you like the modules, is it in a city you can see yourself living in, are the societies interesting, are the facilities good, are the lecturers rated highly, can you afford it? But perhaps the most important and difficult question to answer is does it *feel* right? And if it does, then it's probably a good uni for you.
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V℮rsions
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Average graduate wage in 10 years LOL
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by V℮rsions)
Average graduate wage in 10 years LOL
This doesn't tell you much if you're interested in which is going to provide the best preparation for a career in academia (since academic positions tend to not pay extraordinary amounts) though.

It also isn't much of a metric for courses like medicine, where the vast majority of graduates will go into a field where the pay is essentially the same across the UK (aside from London supplementary pay) increasing at a fixed amount each year as they progress as a junior doctor.
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Astalyn
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
This doesn't tell you much if you're interested in which is going to provide the best preparation for a career in academia (since academic positions tend to not pay extraordinary amounts) though.

It also isn't much of a metric for courses like medicine, where the vast majority of graduates will go into a field where the pay is essentially the same across the UK (aside from London supplementary pay) increasing at a fixed amount each year as they progress as a junior doctor.
I agree with your points. I reckon he was being sarcastic.
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RichPiana
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Whether the people of TSR think it's good or not :moon:
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username2825764
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2) University national and international reputation and rankings
3) Entry requirements and average grades of matriculants
4) How old the university is
5) Outcomes of graduates who attended the university
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Johnny ~
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Can you link us a version to the document that doesn't require registration? I like these threads but man am I tired...
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username5252758
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There is only one reliable measure to judge the quality of a university:

Duck density.
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parmezanne
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1. shamefully, league tables
2. reputation & employability
3. campus, accommodation and vibe
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A_J_B
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(Original post by PQ)
This is a question that multiple league tables and rankings try to answer and almost always fail.

So what are the attributes of a "good" university?
Whether they have a Starbucks on campus
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SaxaDeans
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(Original post by A_J_B)
Whether they have a Starbucks on campus
I went to a university that had a subsidised Starbucks at the entrance to a brand new library. Missed it when I moved to a much higher-ranked university that was founded 1500s, with its facilities still stuck there lol Rank doesn't always equal good on the ground for the typical student, the only thing it points to is how high it is on a list, which could arbitrarily change if they changed their metrics. That and some ranking measures don't really impact the regular student experience that much, eg. the number of citations a uni has. What a good university is what is best for you.
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Realitysreflexx
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Regional significance is something often overlooked, for example I go to the University of Groningen.... Which is a great university 73th in the world ranging to 120th (QS) but nowhere near an Oxbridge or anything. But it is significantly critical for it's region and area. Meaning you get alot of access and colloboration to firms. Much more so than I did at the University of Nottingham, which is just another RG on the road.

Now the degrees probably hold similar clout and I've had no problem securing a role in the UK. But the experience of really being at a regional crucial university has exposed me to alot more practical aspects and opportunities for colloboration..

Even the first years here are expected to contact companies and do interviews. It's amazing. Unthinkable in the UK, where you struggle to get a call back.
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Thisismyunitsr
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Going where you are happy and feel like it was worth it after three years of doing a degree
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pwk123
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(Original post by PQ)
This is a question that multiple league tables and rankings try to answer and almost always fail.

So what are the attributes of a "good" university?
And can they be measured?

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."
Probably not Einstein

There's information here: https://www.hespa.ac.uk/ViewDocument...f67f4e583&dl=1 about the standard measures used in the UK league tables
When I clicked the link to HESPA a login was required . Could you post the document
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PQ
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(Original post by pwk123)
When I clicked the link to HESPA a login was required . Could you post the document
It's also here: https://www.hepi.ac.uk/2018/01/04/gu...her-education/
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Notnek
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How "good" a university is is directly proportional to how much the average student at that uni's parents boast to their friends about it.
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