The Guardian newspaper’s University League Table for 2019 was announced last week, but what is it, how do they create it and where does UWTSD stand?
Each year the Guardian compiles a table that ranks Universities on various qualities that students might want to consider when choosing a University. The scores it gives are based on a combination of sources of information including the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, The National Student Survey and the participating universities themselves. This blog will try to answer some of the common questions we get asked when talking about the results.
Is every university included in the Guardian League Table? No, not everyone chooses to participate, this year 121 Universities entered.
What factors does the Guardian League Table look at and how are the scores calculated? Previously 8 different areas have been considered, but this year a 9th factor has been added in. These scores are then combined to give a score out of 100 which creates the overall ranking. The qualities that are rated are:
1. Course Satisfaction (From NSS 2017 & 2016)
2. Satisfaction with Teaching (From NSS 2017 & 2016)
3. Feedback Satisfaction (From NSS 2017 & 2016)
4. Student/Staff Ratio (From University data)
5. Spend per student (From University data, 2 year average)
6. Average entry tariff (Average UCAS points of 1st year students under 21)
7. Value Added (Rated out of 10 this is a comparison degree results with entry qualifications)
8. Career after 6 months (From DLHE based on graduates from 2015-16)
9. Continuation rate [new] (this is a percentage measure of the number of 1st year students in 2014 & 2015 that continued their studies in 2015 & 2016)
Does the Guardian ask students directly for their opinions? No, the data used for the table comes from existing surveys of students such as the NSS where final year students are asked a range of questions about their university, course, tutors and facilities.
Does the staff/student ratio tell me how much contact time I will have with my tutor? The student/staff ratio score is a simple measurement that looks at the number of all staff that teach. So for many institutions this includes research assistants and PhD students, the Guardian warns that it is “a simple ratio of the number of staff to students, it does not accurately reflect teaching intensity and also does not reveal who is performing the teaching”. This means that the score doesn’t necessarily reflect how much contact time you might expect to have with your tutor or programme leader.
Can I look at subject information? Yes, the results can be viewed on a subject-cluster and course level, with 54 different subject areas to choose from. Often these subject-area results can be more useful as they can give you a better idea of what you can expect from your course of interest. This year UWTSD saw some excellent results across many of our subjects, browse our results booklet below to find out more.
Where did UWTSD place this year? This year we placed 85th overall a rise of 27 places from last year – the joint 3rd biggest increase in the UK. We also placed joint 6th in the UK for ‘Satisfaction with Feedback’. Our Pro Vice Chancellor responsible for Student Experience, Dr Mirjam Plantinga has said “We are particularly pleased with the results for the various student satisfaction measures and for student to staff ratio. These demonstrate the institution’s commitment to quality of teaching. As we do with every league table, we will be looking at the results to help us identify areas for enhancement. National league tables provide us with that vital feedback to help us ensure that we meet the needs of our students.”