There really are some daft university rankings out there. And seemingly a new one arrives on the scene every week.
Many of these I find extremely annoying as this previous ranking of rankings by level of irritation helpfully demonstrates. Leaving aside the mainstream league tables (many of which are fundamentally silly too) there are still some really spectacularly awful rankings around.
So, here’s my personal Top 10 of the Dumbest University Rankings Ever:
- Spiked! Free Speech University Ranking – although I may have previously suggested this is the best ranking ever, I’m now pretty sure the opposite is true.
- Student Sex League – sadly the compilers of this one seem to have been abstaining for a couple of years but it remains a very silly ranking indeed.
- Webometrics – I commented on this exciting league table recently but am still at a loss to get underneath its methodology, which does seem to be completely incomprehensible.
- U-Multirank – massively expensive, not at all comprehensive and of extremely questionable benefit. And arguably not actually a ranking either.
- 50 under 50 – A rather arbitrary looking age-based list of universities – really not a very good idea.
- People and Planet – in the same league as the free speech ranking – campaigning and subjectivity dressed up with dodgy data.
- Astronaut alumni – a rather limited ranking this.
- Graduate rich list – who wouldn’t want to know which university has produced the most millionaires? No-one, you would hope. Sadly not.
- University Challenge winners – This one’s not been updated for a while but is probably unnecessary, given that we all know who will be on top.
- The Golden Age – as yet unpublished but already breaking into the top 10, this not at all arbitrary list offers a “round-up of the top 100 universities founded between 1945 and 1966” It all sounds a bit Simon Bates (one for those in their golden years that) but the great news for those who drop out of the under 50 list is that they are bound to appear in this one. Hurrah!
Sadly there was no room in the Top 10 for the terrific 50 under 50 degrees north ranking or 20 over 500 or indeed for the 30 under 6 ranking.
Similarly, this wholly fictional ranking of made up institutions was also just not quite dumb enough to make the list.
Are there any other #DumbRankings I’ve missed out here?