Edition 80 - December 2007

Students have their say in university ranking

Last month, ACA reported on the Times Higher Education Supplement’s highly quoted global university rankings (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe November 2007). Often criticized for over-weighing research output, the Times Higher decided to give students a voice as well. This month, the first Times Higher student experience league table released its results. Representing the results of over 22,000 undergraduates in a survey in the UK, this exercise produced ranking on 21 different student life factors, selected by the students themselves. These categories ranged from campus environment, to staff quality, to student welfare, to student services. Here are some of the results

  • Loughborough University took home the overall best student experience award, topping the charts in facilities, community atmosphere, student union and social life;
  • Cambridge came in second and swept the best academic categories and also scored high in extracurricular activities and societies;
  • Oxford took fourth place and two Scottish universities (Glasgow and Saint Andrews) also landed in the top five.

Other innovations in rankings to be noted is the CHE student ranking website for German universities, a system that allows students to adjust rankings to their own criteria. CHE (Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung) is also currently doing a pilot project on Ranking of European Universities, an effort to integrate Germany, Flanders, and the Netherlands into one ranking system (not an easy task). As rankings become more and more important in influencing student choice, the methods and measurements should continue to develop.

Times Higher Education Supplement

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