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All the rankings, ranked: Wonkhe’s top rankings of 2019

Paul Greatrix ranks the most popular university rankings of the year.
This article is more than 3 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

One way or another we do seem to cover rather a large number of university rankings here, some of them UK-focused, others international and many of them really not very clever. All of them strive for greatness though in their relentless ordering of institutions. Inevitably though the question arises, who ranks the rankings? Well, here’s your answer.

Thanks to the hard work of the amazing Wonkhe analytics team we are now able to reveal which of these league tables has really been the most popular on the site over the past year. We are therefore delighted to unveil the definitive top 10 of the most popular Registrarism rankings of the the last 12 months.

Your favourite rankings, ranked

Straight in at number 10 we have these novel rankings of universities ordered by the surface area of water on their campus as well as their heritage assets. Pretty niche.

Another new entry in at number 9 is this collection of rather odd rankings including university land ownership, popular international study destinations and universities with the lamest alumni. Sad.

Slipping one place from last year to number 8 is this particular delight for rankers, it’s the 2020 Complete University Guide.

You couldn’t make it up. In with a bullet at number 7 we have a new league table which claims to be the most accurate, precise, data rich and exciting ranking ever of fictional institutions. Perhaps.

A particularly sleazy new entry at number 6 is this ranking of the cheatiest subjects produced by one of the cheating companies which profits from selling essays. Who knows if they did all this work themselves or if they bought it from someone else and submitted it as their own.

Slipping three places to the number 5 bay this year is our very own ranking – which has now become a firm favourite and reflects the harsh reality of a highly competitive, unequal world and the global market for on campus parking. This vital ranking rewards those who do it right, not just those with the best logos, fine notices, and wheelclamps.

A non-mover at number 4 is this utterly pointless ranking of all of the daftest league tables around.

Shooting up five places to number 3 and turning the world upside down, in a series of quite astonishing events the latest Guardian league table calculated a lot of calculations and came up with some remarkable and extraordinary placings. Righteous.

And then at number 2, it’s the Times and Sunday Times 2020 ranking – just a summary, no detail but the essentials are there. Despite its contemporaneity it is beaten to the top by an earlier version of itself…

Confused? You will be. Most of the domestic league table compilers label their rankings a year ahead of their publication (based on some notion that they are intended to help university applicants for the following session). Thus this 2019 ranking from the Times and Sunday Times which has bagged the number 1 slot this year is actually from back in 2018 but remains popular despite the fact that a more recent one is available.

Happy days.

Here’s that top 10 in full

  1. The Times and Sunday Times 2019
  2. The Times and Sunday Times 2020
  3. The Guardian 2020
  4. Dumbest University Rankings 2019
  5. Wonkhe car parking rankings 2020
  6. Cheaty Cheaty ranking
  7. The Ranking of Fictional Universities
  8. The Complete University Guide 2020
  9. Ranking all the Way
  10. Lakes and Castles Ranking

No doubt the next list of rankings of rankings will be equally contentious.

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