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As rankings of universities?

Perhaps the most popular in the UK overall rankings of universities are published in electronic or printed form Newspapers The Times (Good University Guide), The Guardian (The Guardian University Guide) and The Independent (The Complete University Guide. Most of the ratings are based on the same sources and operate on the same source data. The results, however, differ.

Why do ratings differ?

The reason is the goals, objectives, and research methodology. Goals and objectives influence the selection of criteria, evaluating their importance, and hence the weight in the formation of the final figures. Without going into details of methods of information processing, recall the obvious: they are the set of rules under which everything on the source data. Different methods – different results. The place of the University in the ranking does not mean that all subjects are taught at the same level. The same applies to the quality of research in different subject areas and to the quality of the material base of various faculties.

Look at the different ratings:

Good University Guide, The Times includes two tables: General and by subject area. Universities are in the rating depending on the points they scored on eight key indicators.

Weight Figure Translation Transcript
1,5 Student Satisfaction the overall quality of programs student reviews
1,5 Research Quality the quality of research quality indicator 1 employee eligible to participate in the RAE; a dual system of calculating
1 Entry Standards entry requirements the average score received
1 Student-Staff Ratios the ratio of students and teachers the number of students per teacher, with the exception of employees engaged in scientific-research activities
1 Services & Facilities Spend the cost of development of material and training base 1 student, on average, for 2 years
1 Completion students completing the course the ratio of the expected number of graduates with graduation last year, including jumping to other programs
1 Good Honours diplomas with honors the ratio of diplomas with honors and regular
1 Graduate Prospects career opportunities for graduates are ranked in 4 levels

Primary statistical data is additionally verified with the universities and, if necessary, adjusted. The user is given the opportunity to build the table in accordance with their interests and priorities, changing the weight of criteria.

Table The Guardian cover all program students of the first higher education in the UK. For the construction of the rating used six criteria.

Weight, % Figure Translation Transcript
10 Teaching quality The quality of teaching a positive assessment of graduating students
5 Feedback Academic support a positive assessment of graduating students
17 Spending per student Total cost for 1 student Total cost for 1 student
17 Staff/student ratio The ratio of students and teachers the number of students per 1 teacher
17 Job prospects Career opportunities for graduates the ratio employed in the profession or have decided to continue training with the unemployed
17 Value added The acquired knowledge/skills comparison of the results of the graduates with their introductory knowledge
17 Entry score entry requirements the average score received

A set of criteria of this rating is significantly different. For example, it is not considered research activity of universities because it is intended to help undergraduate students. It is expected that more significant factors - the quality of teaching and other aspects of the educational process, and the data about research activity of the University are important for continuing higher education masters and PhD programs.

The rating ranks the achievements of universities in General and in specific subject areas. The electronic version allows you to create your own table taking into account the importance of certain criteria.

To summarize:

  • the rating results are determined by the methodology: all the existing diversity of information was first filtered using the selected criteria, and the remaining data is treated securely and in accordance with a certain methodology.
  • universities may not be equally strong in all: do not abandon the consideration of a suitable program because of a line of the University in the ranking, because not all of his strengths could influence the final score;
  • when choosing a program, it is important to obtain the maximum amount of information: other people's opinion can be taken into account, but it must clearly formulate its own objectives and priorities.