This article is more than 8 years old

An all new ranking of (fictional) universities

An entirely made up ranking. Yes, it's a league table of fictional universities. But can you spot the sources?
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.

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.

54 responses to “An all new ranking of (fictional) universities

  1. 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.

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

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

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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. 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)

  7. 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:

  8. 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.

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

  10. After a conversation in the bar at the Academic Archers conference ( I remembered a half-written draft and have now added to Wikipedia the “List of fictional British and Irish universities”. Thanks for some of the ideas here!

Leave a Reply