League Tables – a help or hindrance?

Each year prospective students, academics, employers and university alumni alike all flock to view university league tables.

These tables and guides aim to provide a helpful insight into universities and how they are doing in comparison to one another. There are many versions including; The Times Good University Guide, The Guardian University Table, Hot Prospects and The Complete University Guide . Whilst they all aim to give an accurate portrayal of overall performance they often conflict with one another.

They are a constant bone of contention between universities and ranking rivalry is commonplace. This undoubtedly appeals to some primeval will to win but, is it really helpful?

The regular contradictions, the controversial criteria used and the mass of assumptions that are made when  compiling these tables leads us to question, Do they really tell us anything and do they really help students make a sound, fair and reliable choice?
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