The Guardian University League Tables for 2017 have now been published, with Cambridge, Oxford and St Andrews all scoring over 90 out of 100 possible marks, helping them retain their positions in the table from last year.
Bath fell from the fifth spot down to number 10 and although it didn’t make it into the top three, Loughborough was the surprise star of this year, moving up seven places to fourth place.
Talking to The Guardian, Bob Allison, vice-chancellor of Loughborough University, puts Loughborough’s success down to having a clear focus.
“Many university strategies are unbelievably long and very complex. My view is there’s little point in doing that. Most people won’t read it and they cannot then understand what we are trying to achieve. You can put our university strategy on one side of paper. I said, keep it really really simple. Focus on no more than three or four things that will make a serious difference.”
Those things are supporting staff, increasing the university’s international reach, raising standards – and “recognising that all students who come here are making a serious commitment and we have to commit to them”.
The Guardian’s league tables rank universities according to:
· spending per student
· the student/staff ratio
· graduate career prospects
· what grades applicants need to get a place
· a value-added score that compares students’ entry qualifications with their final degree results
· how satisfied final-year students are with their courses
Specialist tables also rank universities by subject area. You can view the league tables in full at http://www.theguardian.com/education/universityguide