Latest Guardian University League Table for 2012

New Guardian League Table for 2012

Top 20 of the full list (available here) is as follows (last year’s position in brackets):

1 (2) Cambridge
2 (1) Oxford
3 (4) St Andrews
4 (8) London School of Economics
5 (5) UCL
6 (3) Warwick
7 (6) Lancaster
8 (17) Durham
9 (9) Loughborough
10 (7) Imperial
11 (15) Sussex
11 (14) Exeter
13 (11) SOAS
14 (13) Bath
15 (9) York
16 (15) Edinburgh
17 (12) Leicester
18 (19) UEA
19 (21) Nottingham
19 (20) Surrey

The summary of the outcomes from the Guardian offers a few pointers to bigger changes within the overall table, particularly in the middle and bottom, but there really isn’t much movement at all inside the top 20 this year. Apart of course from the big news about the Oxbridge swap at the top, the only departure from the top 20 is Southampton with Nottingham slipping in at 19 to replace it. UEA remains following a dramatic climb last year, Lancaster is still in the top 10 and Durham rises to 8th place.

Other than that, as you were.

Criteria used

The Guardian is heavily focused on teaching-related indicators and in particular NSS outcomes. The full set of indicators they use are:

• Teaching quality, as rated by final-year students in the national student survey (NSS): percentage of students satisfied.

• Feedback and assessment, as rated by final-year students in the NSS: percentage of students satisfied.

• NSS results when final-year students were asked about the overall quality of their course.

• Spending per student – given as a banded score out of 10.

• Staff-student ratio: number of students per member of teaching staff.

• Career prospects: proportion of graduates who find graduate-level employment, or study full-time, within six months of graduation.

• Value added: comparing students’ individual degree results with their entry qualifications – given as a banded score out of 10. This helps to show the effectiveness of teaching at an institution – the extent to which a department helps students to exceed expectation.

• Entry qualifications (Ucas tariff score).

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Zombie class begins at University of Baltimore

Yet more zombie nonsense

Entertainment news courtesy of LA Times – zombie class begins at the University of Baltimore:

Zombies are everywhere these days. Last year they hit the best-seller list in a bizarre mash-up with Jane Austen called “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” They have inspired math professors to devise statistical models for surviving a “zombie apocalypse.” This fall, they’ll star in the AMC TV series “The Walking Dead.”

And now, they’re the subject of a new course, otherwise known as English 333, at the University of Baltimore.

“Zombies are one of the most potent, direct reflections of what we’re thinking moment to moment in our culture,” Blumberg tells the class in explaining why they’re all here.

Students will watch 16 classic zombie films (including “Zombi 2,” in which a zombie fights a shark), read zombie comics and, as an alternative to a final research paper, have the chance to write scripts or draw storyboards for their ideal zombie flicks.

Jonathan Shorr, chair of the university’s school of communications design, wanted a rotation of “interesting, off-the-wall” courses for a new minor in pop culture. But when Blumberg pitched him a course about the walking dead, he says, “I hit the side of my monitor a couple times thinking, ‘Do I have this right? Did he say zombies?’ ”

The more he thought about it, however, the more intrigued Shorr became. Zombies have shown great resilience as a storytelling device and in this era of gloom and dread, their popularity is cresting. Maybe they would be a perfect hook to get students talking about sociology, literature and a bevy of other disciplines that can sound stuffy.

Yep, you’ve got to make these subjects accessible and relevant or no-one will want to study them.

Further previous discussion of what some, but certainly not me, have described as ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses can be found here.

The Independent also highlights 10 strange courses, including a Harry Potter course on offer at Durham University, and this, perhaps the best of the lot:

Trekkies everywhere will be beaming at the news that Georgetown University offers a course in ‘Philosophy and Star Trek’. Students can attempt to get their most pressing questions answered such as ‘Is time travel possible?’ and ‘Could we go back and kill our grandmothers?’.

Top drawer.

Shanghai Jiao Tong World League Table: Subject Rankings 2010

SJTU Subject Rankings 2010

In addition to its overall rankings and Field rankings, SJTU has also developed subject rankings in a small number of disciplines:

    Mathematics
    Physics
    Chemistry
    Computer Science
    Economics and Business

Some UK universities which don’t appear in the global Top 100 do rather well in here. For example:

  • Durham and Liverpool are in the Top 100 for Physics
  • Bath, Newcastle, Southampton and Sussex all appear in the Chemistry ranking
  • LSE, London Business School and Warwick all feature in the Economics and Business table