This article is more than 8 years old

Rankings mayhem. It’s the all new Complete University Guide

Here's the first league table of the season and once again it's the Complete University Guide which is first out of the stocks this year.
This article is more than 8 years old

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

Spring has sprung and here’s the first league table of the season

Once again it’s the Complete University Guide which is first out of the stocks this year. The top 25 is as follows:

Wonkhe The Complete Unversity Guide

2016  Institution
1 (1) Cambridge
2 (2) Oxford
3 (3) London School of Economics
4 (6) Imperial College London
5 (5) Durham
5 (4) St Andrews
7 (7) Warwick
8 (12) Surrey
9 (11) Lancaster
10 (9) University College London
11 (10) Exeter
12 (8) Bath
13 (13) Loughborough
14 (16) Southampton
15 (18) Bristol
16 (15) East Anglia
17 (14) York
18 (17) Birmingham
19 (23) Leeds
20 (21) Edinburgh
21 (38) Sussex
22 (22) Kent
23 (28) King’s College London
24 (19) Leicester
25 (23) Nottingham


The new Complete University Guide for 2016 has, unsurprisingly perhaps, Cambridge at the top of the heap yet again. The top 10 is largely unchanged with Exeter and Bath dropping out and being replaced by Surrey and Lancaster. The big winner is Sussex though, climbing 17 places to 21st while a couple of others slide a few spots here and there. Overall though not much movement.

There is plenty of other analysis (including by subject, region and mission group)  and information on careers, fees etc. on the website.

The main table uses nine indicators: Student Satisfaction, Research Assessment, Entry Standards, Student:Staff Ratio; Spending on Academic Services; Spending on Student Facilities; Good Honours degrees achieved; Graduate Prospects and Completion. The Subject tables are based on four: Student Satisfaction, Research Assessment; Entry Standards and Graduate Prospects. The results tend to be fairly consistent year on year and there is not huge volatility in this table.

According to the press release which accompanies the table:

A review of the data for the league table since 2010 shows an initial worsening in student:staff ratios followed by an improvement across the whole of the United Kingdom that began with the introduction of fees of up to £9,000 a year in England.

The exception is Wales where the ratio worsened slightly between 2012 and 2013 before a reduction last year. But Welsh universities still have the highest student:staff ratios of any in the UK.

Spending on facilities – sports, careers services, health, counselling, etc. – increased steadily over the full five year period.

The growth in the number of “good” honours degrees – graduates achieving first or upper second class honours – also increased, as did student satisfaction.

A sustained rise in the percentage of graduates in professional employment or engaged in further study six months after graduation reflects the continued recovery from the financial crisis. Recovery was already apparent before the coalition came to power and graduate employment levels have since returned to pre-crisis levels in every part of the UK, although the improvement in Wales has been less marked. In contrast, Scotland has consistently achieved the highest rate in every year reviewed.

So that’s all good then.

Anyway, do enjoy it. Suspect there won’t be more until after the election now.

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