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Times and Gaurdian league tables are different - why? Watch

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    (Original post by Hana_87)
    Why?
    Because they are based largely upon student satisfaction surveys which students often lie in.

    You only have to take a look at the mathematics table to see it's a complete load of rubbish. Whereas the Times league table for maths is a lot more accurate and useful (but still not perfect).
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    I can't believe I've been negged for this! What rubbish am I Spouting? I used the league tables to great affect a number of years back, the Times table is great for an initial quick summary.
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    (Original post by Flying Scotsman)
    Did you just neg me? Of course the Times league table is useful. It contains information on research ratings and entry standards onto degree courses. Also on final destinations. Why wouldn't this be useful? If you use the league tables from each year for the last five years you can easily build up a good idea as to which the best universities in the country are. What gives you the right to say they aren't useful anyway?
    Nope. I didn't neg you. I've just repped you to make up for the person who did. :p:

    To answer your questions though... I actually am starting to dislike The Times due to the emphasis they also place on student satisfaction. Look at their subject-specific league tables, they're mostly useless now. Additionally, I'm sceptical about The Times due to Exeter rising to 9th since a subsidiary of Exeter University started compiling the table, and also them publicly stating that St Andrews rose to 4th due to high student satisfaction levels.
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    (Original post by Flying Scotsman)
    I can't believe I've been negged for this!
    It's TSR. I really wouldn't worry. I've been negged for some of the most ridiculous things in the past with the worst of explanations.
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    (Original post by .ACS.)
    Nope. I didn't neg you. I've just repped you to make up for the person who did. :p:

    To answer your questions though... I actually am starting to dislike The Times due to the emphasis they also place on student satisfaction. Look at their subject-specific league tables, they're mostly useless now. Additionally, I'm sceptical about The Times due to Exeter rising to 9th since a subsidiary of Exeter University started compiling the table, and also them publicly stating that St Andrews rose to 4th due to high student satisfaction levels.
    Yes, I've just taken another look at the Times table and it has gone down hill with the adoption of the student survey. You can still select a table based on other criteria though. For example, in maths you can select pure, applied, statistics and entry standards and see the tables for these. You can then construct your own table (perhaps in excel) to find the best without the other factors. So I wouldn't say they are completely useless even if they are biased in ways.

    Cheers for the rep by the way! I will return the favour in the future if it counts!
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    (Original post by Flying Scotsman)
    Yes, I've just taken another look at the Times table and it has gone down hill with the adoption of the student survey. You can still select a table based on other criteria though. For example, in maths you can select pure, applied, statistics and entry standards and see the tables for these. You can then construct your own table (perhaps in excel) to find the best without the other factors. So I wouldn't say they are completely useless even if they are biased in ways.
    I think if you want a 'reliable' table, it's better to consult The Independent's. Plenty of people on TSR berate it, yet forget that the company which compiles it compiled The Times table only two or three years ago, which they all raved about.

    Additionally, with regards to research quality, how do they work them out? Their rankings by research don't follow the same pattern as those of THES or Research Fortnight. Again, the research rankings listed in The Independent's guide actually reflect the real GPA.

    That said, I think it's better to avoid newspaper league tables altogether. While one university may have an excellent reputation overall according to a newspaper league table, it could be quite mediocre (at best) for a specific subject.
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    (Original post by .ACS.)
    I think if you want a 'reliable' table, it's better to consult The Independent's. Plenty of people on TSR berate it, yet forget that the company which compiles it compiled The Times table only two or three years ago, which they all raved about.

    Additionally, with regards to research quality, how do they work them out? Their rankings by research don't follow the same pattern as those of THES or Research Fortnight. Again, the research rankings listed in The Independent's guide actually reflect the real GPA.

    That said, I think it's better to avoid newspaper league tables altogether. While one university may have an excellent reputation overall according to a newspaper league table, it could be quite mediocre (at best) for a specific subject.
    I agree. I assumed the Times league table used the latest research ratings from RAE2008, perhaps not? Maybe the table is a lot worse than I previously thought..
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    (Original post by .ACS.)
    I think if you want a 'reliable' table, it's better to consult The Independent's. Plenty of people on TSR berate it, yet forget that the company which compiles it compiled The Times table only two or three years ago, which they all raved about.

    Additionally, with regards to research quality, how do they work them out? Their rankings by research don't follow the same pattern as those of THES or Research Fortnight. Again, the research rankings listed in The Independent's guide actually reflect the real GPA.

    That said, I think it's better to avoid newspaper league tables altogether. While one university may have an excellent reputation overall according to a newspaper league table, it could be quite mediocre (at best) for a specific subject.
    The problem with the Independenr RAE, is it goes purely on GPA, which (unsurprisingly) doesn't favour many of the large, multifaculty universities. Using the GPA alone (which THES created, remember) has plenty of problems: Imagine if you will two universities, one which teaches 10 subjects, and one which teaches 11 (the same 10 as the first, with one extra). If the first was to score 3 out of 4 in their 10, their average would be 3, funnily enough. If the second university was to score 3.1 in the 10 that their rival taught, and 1/4 in the 11th, their average would be lower than their rival, they'd look inferior, despite being better in all areas. In other words, by not having a Spanish department (for instance) could make you look 'better' than one which did, but scored below average in it. This is why universities like Essex, who submitted to 14 out of 67 subject areas, have a higher average GPA than ones which submitted to 45 areas. Because of this, lots of universities which cast their net wide are found lower down the table in the Independent.

    However, your last paragraph is where I think more people should be. I'd be quite happy if the statistics that the newspapers used were widely available- possibly if you could have a tool to do with them what you liked. Everything from satisfaction to dropout and beyond, as some stats are omitted from these tables, could be used by students to think for themselves and make their own decisions. By having a respected paper telling you somewhere is 9th and somewhere else 27th, ideas are being put in the heads of people, and these notions of 'prestigious' universities are furthered.
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    imo times's table are better as they include things like research quality.
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    It's more likely to have something to do with how Scottish Highers are converted into UCAS tariff points, but 0404343m is likely to know more about this.
    It is, but in theory there shouldn't be any difference. AAAAA at higher carries the same amount of points as AAA at A-Level, and given the extra year in Scotland, that seems the fairest way of comparing them. However, even this is only 360 points, so the more selective universities typically have over 400, indicating extra highers/advanced highers/A/AS levels. Much fewer people get AAAAA in higher than get AAA in A-Level, so as far as I know the tariff points for highers will be going up next year. Its nothing to do with selectivity, I'd say the two systems can't really be compared all that well on either side of the Border- at least not on the UCAS scale, so the best we have is to compare Scottish universities with their counterparts and do likewise with the rest of the UK. Applicants per place is useful as far as it goes, but to say a Scottish higher student with six highers is 'better' than someone with four A-Levels, thus making the Scottish university 'more selective', throws up a load of problems, so its best not to bother.
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    It is, but in theory there shouldn't be any difference. AAAAA at higher carries the same amount of points as AAA at A-Level, and given the extra year in Scotland, that seems the fairest way of comparing them. However, even this is only 360 points, so the more selective universities typically have over 400, indicating extra highers/advanced highers/A/AS levels. Much fewer people get AAAAA in higher than get AAA in A-Level, so as far as I know the tariff points for highers will be going up next year. Its nothing to do with selectivity, I'd say the two systems can't really be compared all that well on either side of the Border- at least not on the UCAS scale, so the best we have is to compare Scottish universities with their counterparts and do likewise with the rest of the UK. Applicants per place is useful as far as it goes, but to say a Scottish higher student with six highers is 'better' than someone with four A-Levels, thus making the Scottish university 'more selective', throws up a load of problems, so its best not to bother.
    I knew you'd be able to give a better answer.:p: Thanks for clarifying.
 
 
 
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