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Hold on to your hats, it’s the 2020 Times & Sunday Times league table

Hold on to your hats - it’s the 2020 Times & Sunday Times league table and Registrarism has thoughts
This article is more than 4 years old

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

It’s that time of year again where the most eagerly awaited domestic university league table of the rankings year finally appears. In the recent past we have had the ranker’s delight of the Complete University Guide league table  and seen the world turned upside down with the Guardian ranking.

Here though, just in time for those starting to think about university entry next year, we have the oldest kid on the block, the granddaddy of all the UK league tables, the all new Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide ranking for 2020.

We can only give you the very briefest of glimpses here at the top 20 in the rankings and you’ll have to head over to the Sunday Times website (£) for full details. So, hold on to your hats, here is the top of the shop:

Good University Guide 2020

3(3)St Andrews
17(33=)Harper Adams
19(24)Royal Holloway

All shall have prizes

Cambridge is at the top of the pile yet again and Oxford is only able to manage number 2 in the rankings, runner up once more. The top 5 in fact is completely identical to last year and there is only minor change in the remainder of the top 10 which does say something (I’m not sure what). Perhaps the most eye-catching aspect of the top 20 is the arrival of Harper Adams University – the agriculture-focused institution leaping from 33rd place last year to bag 17th place.

The methodology seems at first glance to be largely unchanged which does offer some clue to the stability in the top 10 at least.

Specific awards have been allocated to St Andrews as university of the year (and for having the best gowns), to Stirling as sports university of the year; Strathclyde is Scottish university of the year and Aberystwyth the Welsh champion. Harper Adams, thanks to its spectacular top 20 entry, is modern university of the year.

As well as this there is a fully searchable website with full university and city profiles, 67 subject tables and, as last year, a table on social inclusion – with markedly different results now that achievement gaps have been added in. This and other related interactive stuff can be found in the Sunday Times for subscribers.

But if you are thinking of studying at university next year you could also do yourself a favour and perhaps consider not using a league table to help your decision-making.

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