Monday, August 29, 2016

Muhammad Akbar

The 2017 Good Universities Guide&Making sense of university rankings

The 2017 Good Universities Guide is released on Monday and, in it, prospective students will find a very different list of Australia's top universities. The Guide singles out Charles Darwin, Central Queensland University, Charles Sturt University and the University of New England as top performers.


CUG RankUniversity NameEntry StandardsStudent SatisfactionResearch QualityGraduate ProspectsOverall Score
20172016
11Cambridge6004.173.3389.01000
22Oxford5744.173.3486.7998
33London School of Economics5183.893.3578.5940
44Imperial College London5674.153.3690.8938
55St Andrews5204.233.1383.2927
65Durham5244.143.1483.6916
711Loughborough4104.262.9583.6897
87Warwick4854.093.2279.5889
99Lancaster4234.173.1582.6885
1013University College London5053.953.2282.9880
118Surrey4314.312.9878.7870
1111Bath4784.183.1785.1870
1310Exeter4664.183.0879.6855
1416East Anglia (UEA)4234.173.1170.1841
1518Birmingham4234.083.0786.5832
1619Leeds4304.163.1378.5827
1714Southampton4174.083.1577.9821
1821Sussex3754.063.0184.2817
1920Edinburgh4853.933.1878.6808
2017York4304.143.1775.7807
2123King's College London4623.913.2385.7799
2125Nottingham4244.063.0981.2799
2322Kent3584.122.9576.6796
2415Bristol4763.963.1879.5791
2528Manchester4334.053.1678.4773
2526Newcastle4304.143.0979.3773
2729Reading3714.093.0370.2764
2727Sheffield4154.143.1775.5764
2930Glasgow4674.123.1079.5762
3032Aston3534.173.0578.8761
3133Queen Mary, University of London4044.123.1873.0756
3224Leicester3904.032.9372.1755
3336Queen's, Belfast3854.132.9978.4754
3437Heriot-Watt4064.123.0677.9751
3531Cardiff3994.093.2779.8747
3542Dundee4264.193.0379.9747
3734Royal Holloway, University of London4024.153.0962.4743
3839Liverpool3834.013.0675.8742
3947Stirling3743.992.9672.8730
4041City3714.202.9578.0727
4134Essex2974.223.0563.7726
4240Aberdeen4414.002.9776.0718
4343SOAS, University of London3973.982.8268.1714
4443St George's, University of London4294.002.9993.4713
4545Swansea3114.133.0981.1702
4646Keele3504.282.8875.6691
4660Harper Adams3384.112.6673.7691
4838Strathclyde4704.013.0471.7688
4951Lincoln3394.092.5470.5683
5048Coventry3164.282.6773.8679
5150Goldsmiths, University of London3533.982.9055.5677
5249Brunel University London3494.062.6763.0672
5363Bradford3214.082.9575.0656
5454De Montfort2924.142.6776.8648
5569Buckingham3114.3683.3641
5654Bournemouth3213.902.7265.8638
5773Manchester Metropolitan3494.102.7463.2637
5870Falmouth3104.142.0473.5634
5960Northumbria3614.112.7166.0633
5952University for the Creative Arts3164.082.7251.7633
6159Portsmouth3214.142.7566.8631
6258Bangor3424.262.9967.2629
6353Nottingham Trent3054.152.5966.3627
6463Robert Gordon3854.092.3582.8625
6554Oxford Brookes3354.152.6668.6624
66-Norwich University of the Arts3434.152.6963.1621
6762West of England, Bristol3234.032.7070.4614
6863Hull3354.052.7066.5606
6966Roehampton2754.022.8360.0604
7066Ulster3074.182.9162.3600
7182Edge Hill3274.162.2263.1599
7279Cardiff Metropolitan3154.033.0059.0598
7272Sheffield Hallam3044.032.7664.7598
7468Liverpool John Moores3424.122.7963.0596
7486Winchester2934.172.3260.5596
7670Bath Spa3214.202.5254.5586
7657Arts University Bournemouth3224.072.3061.4586
7889Middlesex2974.022.5864.7580
7975Hertfordshire3024.012.6174.7577
8077Chichester2984.172.5056.9575
8174Huddersfield3314.132.6573.6572
8283Glasgow Caledonian3853.982.6770.1568
8397Liverpool Hope3074.282.2153.4567
8490Plymouth3144.082.7460.1566
8580University of the Arts, London3143.923.1259.0561
8695Abertay3384.042.1665.6557
8786Aberystwyth2894.012.8462.3555
8783Northampton2804.142.0959.4555
8980Gloucestershire3194.062.3855.2551
9076Brighton3014.002.8466.6550
9194Derby3024.162.0759.1546
9292Edinburgh Napier3374.052.5268.6544
9378Queen Margaret3504.022.6558.2540
9493Chester3034.122.0863.1539
9596Salford3164.052.5459.2535
9588Birmingham City3163.962.6464.3535
97105Worcester3004.092.0863.1526
98107Greenwich3374.082.3358.1525
99102South Wales3213.972.5158.4515
9991Central Lancashire3174.062.5162.3515
101103Staffordshire2744.112.2057.7506
102100Westminster3153.962.7454.9503
103101Leeds Trinity2844.112.0165.8502
10385Royal Agricultural University3014.011.4069.7502
103116Sunderland2894.102.1262.2502
106108West London3013.991.9260.0498
10799York St John3004.112.0464.8490
10798Teesside3054.132.5859.2490
109104Kingston2883.972.7060.6485
110115Anglia Ruskin2544.142.3764.7483
110118West of Scotland3164.082.3665.1483
112106Canterbury Christ Church2704.022.3857.6475
113113Buckinghamshire New2564.072.1957.1460
114114Leeds Beckett2883.982.1658.3446
115122Southampton Solent2754.021.6354.1443
115119London South Bank2543.992.5267.4443
117120Newman2984.152.1352.6442
118109St Mary's, Twickenham2914.131.9866.6440
119117Bishop Grosseteste2844.071.9667.8438
120110Bedfordshire2344.082.5257.9423
121111Cumbria2863.932.1364.5422
122121Bolton2834.102.0459.9406
123125University of Wales Trinity Saint David2843.992.3950.2397
124112St Mark and St John2883.9260.5379
125123Glyndwr2364.102.1566.1378
126124East London2773.932.7145.2376
127126London Metropolitan2474.002.4447.0322

Which are the important global rankings?

1. The Academic Ranking of World Universities
To use a sporting analogy, the ARWU ranks university performance by tallying gold medals, says Professor Crossley.
Previously known as the Shanghai Jiao Tong index, after the Chinese university that invented it in 2003, the ARWU list is dominated by huge universities with large science and engineering departments that are mostly in the US.
This is because 30 per cent of the score is based on having Nobel Prize or Fields Medal winners on staff; and another 20 per cent is based on having academics who are highly-cited researchers – people in the top 1 per cent of their field. 
But the fields counted are only in science and engineering, not in the humanities. (Melbourne, Australia's highest ranked at No.40 this year, has a large biomedical research cohort.)
Nor is the student experience - teaching quality, graduate outcomes, even staff-student ratios - factored in. 
Professor Merlin Crossley says the ARWU is still a reasonable measure of quality. 
"The logic goes that if you're good at biomedical sciences, you're probably good at music too and other things that are harder to measure. My experience is that is true."  
2. The QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World Ranking of Universities
Tracey McNicol from ANU, who is on the QS rankings international board, explains that unlike the ARWU, the QS and Times Higher Education rankings use surveys as well as quantitative measures.
QS measures the average citations per researcher at a university, not the number of highly-cited researchers. 
QS also make an effort to judge teaching quality using staff to student ratios and by surveying academics.
Some 77,000 academic staff around the world rank the institutions in their own country and globally for research and teaching quality in their own disciplines.
QS also do an employer survey, which counts for 10 per cent of the score, to see whether people like to hire a uni's graduates or not.
ANU does really well in QS, easily beating Melbourne uni to make the Top 20 (it is ranked 77th by ARWU). 
QS also does subject rankings, which Ms McNicol says are more useful for students than the overall rankings. "Everyone wants to go to a top institution, so they'll look and see 'well ANU is a Top 20 in QS, and it is eighth in the world for archaeology'. That helps them narrow it down further," she says.
3. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings
Like the QS system, this UK-based ranking system relies on reputation surveys completed by academics (about one-third of the score) as well as a measure of research citations per academic.
It attempts to judge teaching quality by incorporating metrics such as the number of doctorate students to bachelor students.
But the Times surveys fewer academics than QS - more like 11,000, making it a much smaller sample size.
It comes up with the same top 10 Australian unis as QS, but shuffles some of the places around.
UNSW, for example, does not make the Top 100 globally in ARWU, but it is 46 in the QS and 82 in the Times. 

Where can I find information about Australian unis?

The Good Universities Guide
This covers Australia only and has been criticised in the past for its star system which some unis complain is misleading.
But unlike the global rankings, it is geared at judging unis by the student experience they offer, not by the quality of research output.
And it doesn't provide an overall ranking, but rather rates Australia's 39 universities in a series of categories - quantitative, such as salaries and graduate employment rates, and qualitative and survey based, like "overall education experience".  
Ross White, Head of Product at the Guide, says it presents a "holistic view".
"A student may gain a high-level view of a university's global reputation or research quality from the ARWU or the Times," he says, "yet unlike in the Good Universities Guide, they will not gain specific insight into indicators such as the student experience, graduate outcomes or the characteristics of the student cohort."
The Group of Eight, research-intensive universities which dominate the global rankings, don't do that well in the Guide. 
But the University of Notre Dame, for example, a small private institution in Sydney and Perth which has a non-ATAR entry system and no global research reputation, rates highly. 
Professor Hayden Ramsay, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor at the Sydney campus says "In its early years Notre Dame made a strategic decision to build on teaching and learning excellence, focus on the individual learner's needs and personal contact with lecturers in face to face teaching.
"Research rankings do not focus on the undergraduate student experience which is integral to our mission and to our students' experience and success."

Muhammad Akbar

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