Pride and Prejudices: Problems with National and International League Tables

Presentation from AUA Conference 2011

Thank you to all who attended this session on 19 April 2011

As promised, here is the presentation:

2 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudices: Problems with National and International League Tables

  1. It seems to me that the smaller the university (in terms of number of students) the better it does in rankings. This seems to explain why Nottingham has gone down a fair bit in rankings. In short:

    The less students you let in the more applications per place and more discriminative in admissions (hence higher entry standards)

    This quality of student leads to more 1st and 2:1’s

    The less students the higher the student staff ratio, the higher the per student spend ratios and the lower the drop out rate

    Fewer students leads to more face to face time with teachers and higher satisfaction scores.

    Hence, universities should stop expanding too much unless they have the demand.

    Nottingham went from having 4,500 new undergrads a year to 6,300 within a few years but with less applications (down from 50,000 to 38,000). Hence, it went from 10+ applications per place and a 431 UCAS tariff average to 5.9 and a 409 tariff within a few years when every other uni went up considerably in both these measures.

    I hope the university is keeping student numbers at a minimum and they seem to with the recent announcemet that this year there are only 5,500 places availale with 49,000 applying for them (9 apps per place). However, the continued drop in average UCAS tariff (relative to other uni’s) is still a concern. In 2005 Nottingham had a 419 UCAS point average compared to 368 at King’s College and 359 at Exeter. However, King’s now has 447 points and Exeter 439 compared to Nottingham’s 425. Worrying Indeed.

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