When you are deciding which university to go to, you may be wondering about how well the universities you are interested in are ranked. There are so many different ranking websites online which show all of the different universities in the UK. Some ranking websites rank all of the universities in the world! However, there is a debate about whether university rankings actually matter or not. This is because the rankings may not actually be based on relevant factors.
Overall, university rankings do not matter. This is because when choosing a university, it is better to actually focus on the facilities the university offers and whether it will give you all of the help and support that you need. Rankings can be based on some irrelevant factors and they can be biased. Therefore, it is more useful to rank universities yourself based on your own opinions and experiences. However, they can be important to gain a rough understanding of each university.
You may be shocked to hear the truth about university rankings and how useful they really are. If you want to discover even more about them, keep on reading!
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How important are university rankings?
University rankings can definitely be seen as important. They are calculated from a range of data from each university. For example, the Complete University Guide bases their university rankings on areas that are important to students.
This data is also paired with the success of graduates leaving the university. This means that students’ opinions and factual information are both taken into account.
As a result, reading university rankings can be a useful tool to help you decide which university you would like to go to. You can find more information about university rankings on this article from the Complete University Guide, if you click here.
However, you need to be aware that overall university rankings may not be useful to you when looking at specific courses. This is because a university may excel at a course you are interested in, however may score low in the total ranking for the university.
Therefore, you need to make sure that you look at the individual rankings for the course you are interested in. This means that a lot of the time, university rankings are only important if you look at individual course rankings.
As a result of this, it is good if you do not base your decisions when deciding which university to go to on the ranking of the university on a website.
Why can university rankings be important?
The main purpose of university rankings is to help you see which university is the best to go to. Therefore, they are useful for giving you a rough idea about how good a university is.
University rankings take many factors into account which can be useful to see. Three important factors include:
- Student satisfaction scores – This involves students rating elements of their university experience. These can be useful because they come from people who have actually experienced the university.
- Graduate prospects – This element can give you an insight into how well the graduates in the university fare after they leave.
- Student to staff ratio– This can help you to see how big your classes are and which can then give an insight to how the quality of teaching will be.
Even though university rankings take on a holistic approach when basing them all on these factors, they can still be biased. Therefore, even though they are important for a rough idea, do not depend on them!
You can find out more information about this on the Immerse Education website, if you click here.
Do employers look at university rankings?
Most employers don’t actually mind which university you go to and don’t tend to worry about university rankings. Of course, the university you went to can somewhat play a factor in whether an employer hires you or not, especially if you have been to a university with a good reputation.
Employers actually focus more on the grades you achieved from university and the amount of work experience that you have had. They will also prefer you to have a degree specific to the job they are offering.
However, it is true that employers can be biased when selecting graduates for jobs from certain universities. Even though they may not focus on the rankings of universities, they may choose candidates from universities who they already have employees from.
Further to this, it has been found that some employers actually prefer graduates from Russell Group universities. This is because these universities are seen as prestigious compared to others.
Which UK university ranking website is most reliable?
There are so many different university ranking websites! Many can seem to have pretty similar rankings, however, some actually contradict each other!
The truth is that none of the UK university ranking articles are 100% reliable. It is true that each ranking system takes multiple factors into account, which gives a well-rounded holistic ranking for each university. However, some factors may be irrelevant and some may not even apply to you!
Therefore, their rankings may not be accurate for you.
It is probably best to actually visit universities yourself in order to form your own opinion and read about specific courses. Then you can decide your own ranking.
Also, universities have different societies which will definitely contribute to your experience. How good these seem are again, based on your own opinion and could contribute to your own ranking. More information about societies can be found in this article from Think Student.
However, there are many popular ranking websites which are seen as somewhat reliable. For example, the Complete University Guide is a very popular ranking system which many students use.
It can be a useful tool because it can give you a rough idea about where the university stands based on its reputation and overall quality of teaching. However, this can differ for each course.
You need to remember this! Make sure that you don’t base all of your decisions on these rankings because no system is completely reliable.
You can discover more detail about the reliability of rankings on this Schools with Scholarships article, if you click here.
Why can university rankings be seen as unreliable?
As you can see, the rankings are based on a lot of factors. However, these still don’t give a true representation of the university. This is because student satisfaction scores for example could actually be biased towards current issues in the university and not specific to their learning at all!
Also, graduate prospects are only based on students six months after leaving university. A lot can potentially happen after this. As a result, rankings definitely do not give you enough information in order for you to make an informed decision.
Which universities are ranked the best in the UK?
One of the most popular ranking websites is the Complete University Guide. Consistently throughout the years, it is no surprise that the highest ranking universities on this website are shown to be the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.
Some other high ranking universities include University College London and Imperial College London. However, these universities are not necessarily better than other universities.
It is true that these universities could potentially lead to higher rates of employability. However, specific courses at other universities could potentially be better than the same course in these universities.
Despite this, it doesn’t really matter which university you go to, as long as you get the grades you need to be employed. You can find out a more detailed answer to the question about whether the university you go to matters if you read this article from Think Student.