University degree course rankings are to be made public
Universities will be ranked on quality of teaching, the average salary earned after graduation and drop out rates. This will give prospective students greater clarity in where their university ranks in the country, George Timberlake reports
Today, a pilot of the scheme is launching and it involves 50 universities. Courses will be ranked bronze, silver or gold in a new legislation commissioned by the government which is set to be released to the public next year. There is controversy surrounding this, as universities that have low-quality courses, ranked with poor employment opportunities and lower prospective salaries, intend to lower fees than the existing top amount of £9,250. This is resulting in universities being named and shamed in the bottom rankings.
Unofficial rankings are available, published by newspapers such as ‘The Guardian’. States’s Minister, Sam Gyimah, believes that: “Prospective students deserve to know which courses deliver great teaching and great outcomes – and which ones are lagging behind. In the age of the student, universities will no longer be able to hide if their teaching quality is not up to the world-class standard that we expect.”
It is a significant expansion of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) last summer, where each university was ranked for the first time on the quality of teaching, libraries, laboratories, contact with tutors, levels of graduate employment and student satisfaction.
It led to a few surprising outcomes with leading institutions such as the London School of Economics (LSE), Southampton University and Liverpool being ranked bronze, while less well-regarded universities such as Aston, Coventry and Surrey achieved gold, alongside Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews.
LSBU students voiced their opinions on speculation that courses will have different prices depending on rankings.