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The Rankings, Ranked: Wonkhe’s Top Rankings of the Year

Paul Greatrix ranks the rankings - which ordered list of university names has generated the most interest this year?
This article is more than 5 years old

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

An unfortunately large number of posts here concern rankings, national and international, daft and dumber, but every now and then the question has to be asked – which of these league tables is really the most popular?

The great news is that thanks to the amazing science of Wonkhe’s site analytics we are able to count every view of all these pages over the past year, rate the excitement of real rankings enthusiasts and come up with a definitive top 10 of the most popular Registrarism rankings of the the last 12 months. So, here they are, your favourite rankings, ranked:

At the sign of the swinging cymbal

In at number 10 we have the ever-popular, near fictional and ministerial favourite Spiked free speech rankings (although it barely qualifies as a ranking even by the very low standards of these things it has nevertheless been accepted onto the list this year).

Hanging in there in the number 9 slot is this top 200 world university ranking from way back in 2009 which reminds us of those halcyon days before the big THE/QS world league table split. Nostalgia rules.

In with a bullet at number 8 is the all new Guardian league table from just a couple of months ago. Check how we jamming and ting. [are you sure? – Ed]

Sneaking in just ahead of its rival at 7 is the Complete University Guide. Nice.

Then at 6 we have the first of two rankings of rankings. A pretty dumb but surprisingly popular list from 2017.

We’ve now got into a position where 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 2017 ranking from the Times and Sunday Times which has drifted in at number 5 is actually old hat and from 2016 (and don’t get me started on how old the source data is).

Dumb and dumberer – yes, in at 4 is an ever sillier and more pointless league table of daft rankings. Meta.

Rising slowly to number 3 is this rather frightening ranking of universities most likely to be affected by changes in sea level. Gulp.

And a dangerously impactful ranking, cooked up by David Kernohan following the publication of a vital data set by HESA, raced up the charts this year to a perfect stop at the number 2 spot – it’s the UK’s first car parking league table.

And then at number 1, top of the shop, no prizes for guessing…it’s the Times and Sunday Times 2018 ranking (published in 2017, as previously explained). Behind the paywall which probably explains the popularity of this handy summary.

Here’s that top 10 in full

1. Times and Sunday Times 2018
2. HE Car Parking Ranking
3. The HE Climate Change Ranking
4. Dumbest University Rankings 2018
5. Times and Sunday Times 2017
6. Yet More Dumb University Rankings
7. Complete University Guide 2019
8. The Guardian League Table 2019
9. Top 200 World Ranking 2009
10. Free Speech nonsense

Enough league table nonsense for now…until the next time

2 responses to “The Rankings, Ranked: Wonkhe’s Top Rankings of the Year

  1. Will you soon be providing us with a ranking of rankings of rankings? Vital information for university applicants. Could go on Sam’s app.

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