An all new ranking of (fictional) universities

A completely made up league table

One of the criticisms occasionally levelled at league table compliers is that they sometimes discount reality in favour of an easily measurable indicator. Nothing could be further from the truth and the robustness and accuracy of the rankings is now beyond question. But what about the universities they list?2000px-Emblem.svg

I’ve previously provided a confusing mix of real and fictional universities before and they are often quite hard to distinguish. No such difficulties here though. To counterbalance the harsh realities of the work of the real rankers here’s an entirely made up league table drawn from a large number of imagined realms. Dominated by fictional universities in the US and the UK the list is nevertheless headed by an institution that is literally out of this world.

The following criteria have been considered and discarded: credibility, realism, detail, accuracy, Amazon stars and SSRs. So here is your entirely arbitrary top 25 fictional HE institutions:

      1. University of Maximegalon
      2. Wellington College
      3. University of Christminster
      4. DuPont University
      5. Athena College
      6. Euphoric State University
      7. Hampden College
      8. Jocelyn College
      9. Winesburg College
      10. Rummidge University
      11. Lowlands University
      12. Eastern Arkansas University
      13. Watermouth University
      14. Waindell College
      15. University of Gloucester
      16. Monsters University
      17. Burston Central University
      18. Kirke University
      19. Sims University
      20. Starfleet Academy
      21. Unseen University
      22. Poppleton University
      23. Faber College
      24. Manchester Medlock University2000px-Monsters_University_logo.svg
      25. Felpersham University

Some of these are a bit obscure. A nano degree and spotter’s badge is on offer to the individual who can identify the largest number of these without googling. Put your fictional numbers in the comments below. Also do feel free to object to unfortunate omissions from the top 25.

51 thoughts on “An all new ranking of (fictional) universities”

  1. Stephen Rowlstone says:

    Only recognised a handful (7), which is not good. However, Star fleet, Unseen & Poppleton are surely underachieving – Stafleet is the Uni of the Federation, Unseen does magic & Poppleton needs no introduction as the best Uni in the UK.

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      Failed to make top 25 (probably)

  2. perkijay says:

    Where on Earth is Midtown University? Where Doc Connors taught, and the great Peter Parker studied?

    1. perkijay says:

      I absolutely meant Empire State. D’oh

      1. Paul Greatrix says:

        No-one remembers that one…

  3. Steve says:

    You left out the University of Southern North Dakota, the Hoople campus of which Peter Schickele has done so much to make famous.

  4. fechtbuch says:

    Paragon City/Rogue Isles University. City of Heroes had the highest percentage of graduate PCs of any MMORPG.

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      I’ll have to take your word for this. Still not enough to get them into top 25 though.

      1. fechtbuch says:

        Probably marked down for the neo-nazis raiding the store rooms and the repeated supernatural incursions.

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      Afraid University of Gallifrey only scrapes into the top 50. Improving over time though.

      1. Stephen Rowlstone says:

        Surely should be number 1 in there own pocket Universe

  5. dougclow says:

    Wot no University of Bums on Seats?

    My favourite is my own alma mater, the University of York, which I believe served as a fictional university for many years before it served as a real one.

    1. Paul Greatrix says:


  6. Paul Kleiman says:

    No HE league table is complete without a list of those in the relegation zone. Who’s are the bottom 10 (or 25)? We demand to know. Expect a FOI request

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      In due course….

  7. I think I know half of them.

    The most heartening prospect is that Lowlands University is doing a lot better than it was in the late 1980s when it was clearly going under.

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      Lowlands result is arguably the most impressive here.

    2. 14. Assuming I’ve got my Channel 4 series the right way ’round.

      1. Paul Greatrix says:

        in the lead!

  8. Ted says:

    You missed out the University of Bums on Seats ( and King’s College Dublin ( And given the David Lodge theme why no University College Limerick?

  9. Paul Kleiman says:

    Here are a few I’ve had dealings with in the past:
    Cold Comfort College
    Inner State University
    University of Waqqa Raqqa
    Tumbledown College
    Styx University
    Vogon Institute of Education
    Dawkins College and Seminary

  10. JoW says:

    Wrottesley? Though it was a poly before the end of the binary divide, so disqualified I suppose. Also Lincoln (in the UK) was fictional before it was real.

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      I can confirm that Wrottesley did not trouble the scorers.

  11. John Clibbens says:

    10 (though some of the others look vaguely familiar…)

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      10 is pretty good and right up there with the current leader’s “about half”

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      Maybe next year…

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      Sadly not even on the ranking radar. So unjust. Moo.

      1. dkernohan says:

        I think the revised mission statement will leverage the underlying tensions implicit in the nature of love and community college accreditation. And their Esperanto provision is ranked #16 in the US!

        (You should read this book, you’d like it)

  12. There’s Sweet Valley University. Apparently there 63 books in the series. So Francine Pascal is probably way ahead as most prolific campus fiction writer…

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      I’m like, OMG!

  13. Paul Inman says:

    I identified all 25. A pure work of fiction.

  14. Eoin O'Dell says:

    This was very entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed working out which ones I knew, which ones I ought to have known, and which were unknown unknowns. As for gaps, if I might be permitted a Dublin-based effort, there’s King’s College Dublin, invented by Eilís Dillon for “Death in the Quadrangle” (1956), and appropriated by her son Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin, writing as Cormac Millar, for “The Grounds” (2006).

    Here are some links:

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      Fantastic! Thank you for these (sadly outside the top 25) institutions

  15. KMAG85 says:

    There should be a Fantasy Uni Premier Lge, could be sponsored by a dodgy bank. With 25 ‘teams’ in it though, several will have to relegated at the end of the season, Fantasy Uni College status.

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      We’ll struggle to find a dodgy bank.

  16. Craig D says:

    My favourite fictional institution is The University of Please Yourself, California.

    Eric Idle appeared as Stanley J. Krammerhead III, Jr, their Visiting Professor of Applied Narcotics, in the classic Beatle spoof ‘All You Need Is Cash’ (see

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      That is an outstanding name for a university!

  17. Alice B says:

    I can’t believe Fibchester didn’t get a mention…

  18. Paul Greatrix says:

    Didn’t even make the top 100

  19. Helen Matthews says:

    Does the Daystrom Institute count?

  20. Paul Greatrix says:

    It counts. Just not enough to make into top 50 though. Suspect it is too specialised to impact on the rankings

  21. Paul Greatrix says:

    Late entry (sadly overlooked) Sunnydale:,_Sunnydale

  22. Alison Hebborn says:

    Thought Gloucester was real, my son managed to scam me for 3 years

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      That really made me laugh!

  23. Maguire says:

    Really disappointed that Maguire University didn’t make this list as its gone through lots of hoops and has a real bounce..

    David Maguire

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      I can only apologise for this appalling oversight.

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