Applying to University: The League Table

February 18, 2014

The League Table is another helpful tool for sixth form students who are comparing universities. The key to using the League Table is to first understand what information it conveys and second to use the rankings in a larger context based on research about specific universities and courses.

The most commonly used League Tables are: The Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, and the Complete University Guide. All League tables use similar criteria and depending on the factor gives a different maximum score that contributes to the overall score. For example, the Complete University Guide League Table measures nine different aspects to rank universities. Read below to see a full list of the factors as well as an explanation of what they measure and the maximum score possible.

  • Student Satisfaction (Max score: 5.00): Measure how final-year students view teaching quality at their university. The current League Table uses the student survey from 2012.
  • Research Assessment (Max score: 4.00): Measure of average quality of research done at the university. The current League Table uses data from the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.
  • Entry Standards (Max score: n/a): Measure of the average UCAS tariff score for new students at the university. The current League Table uses data from 2011-2012.
  • Graduate Prospects (Max score: 100.0): Measures the employability of a graduate from the university. The current League Table uses data from 2010-2011.
  • Student Staff Ratio (Max score: n/a): Measure of average number of students divided by number of staff at the university. The current League Table uses data from 2011-2012.
  • Academic Services Spend (Max score: n/a): Measure of how much is spent on academic services per student which includes expenditures on: libraries, facilities, books, journals, staff, computers, software, museums, galleries and observatories. The League Table uses data from three consecutive years, currently from 2009-2012.
  • Facilities Spend (Max score: n/a): Measure of how much is spent on facilities per student, which includes: sports, career services, health and counseling. The League Table uses data from three consecutive years, currently from 2009-2012.
  • Good Honours (Max score: 100.0): Measure of how many graduates received a first or upper second class honours degree. The current League Table uses data from 2011-2012.
  • Degree Completion (Max score: 100.0): Measures the completion rate for students at the university. The current League Table uses data from 2011-12 and earlier years.

The overall score is set at 1,000 and while all nine factors are considered, it is important to note that student satisfaction and research assessment are weighted at 1.5 while all other factors are weighted at 1.

All these rankings are meant to be an indicator of the university. Numbers used to compile the statistics are often averages…which means it is up to you to do the necessary research into specific courses and check the information. Rankings are helpful to make decisions but they only make sense in a larger context about the university!

You can check Ashbourne League Table in our website