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Aua 2008 A

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aua 08

aua 08

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  • 1. International League Tables: a new kind of game or more of the same? Dr Paul Greatrix, Registrar, The University of Nottingham Dr Tony Rich, Registrar and Secretary, University of Essex
  • 2. League Tables
    • Background
    • Who wants to know?
    • Who are the providers of this valuable information?
    • Mad, bad and dangerous
    • National and international dimensions
    • Doing it yourself
    • Measuring the unmeasurable?
  • 3. Background
    • The US experience
    • Regulatory interest
    • In the UK: The Times (1992)
    • International dimensions
    • They sell papers...
    • ...and, some would suggest, create perverse incentives
  • 4. Who wants to know?
    • The Government
    • The State
    • The Funding Councils
    • Potential Students
    • Alumni
    • Journalists
    • Parents, teachers, advisors
    • Employers - national and international
    • Overseas sponsors
    • Jo Public
    • The Universities
    • Dangerous obsessives
  • 5. Who’s responsible for providing this valuable data?
    • The Times
    • Sunday Times
    • The Guardian
    • GUG
    • Financial Times
    • (Daily Telegraph)
    • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
    • Times Higher Ed (THE)
    • Newsweek
    • HEFCE
    • others...
    • and, of course, Government
  • 6. Invaluable information
    • For all stakeholders
    • Intelligent decision-making
    • Better than prejudice
    • Reflecting the realities of the market place
    • We have a right to know
    • Employers have a right to know
    • We aren’t stupid
  • 7. League tables are a bad thing... “ The silly season that marks the publication of University league tables is nonsensical and illogical. As any New Scientist knows, letters into numbers; quality into quantity won’t go. League tables are simplistic, divisive and undermine the qualitative nature of a University’s work”
  • 8. But we’ll use them anyway! “ Having said that, I’m not ashamed to report that we came a very creditable 79 th overall, with my own department rating a particularly good score for research - and as I remarked to the Dean, you can’t get much better than that.”
  • 9. Dangerous...
    • Criteria used do not reflect quality of education
    • Historical data
    • Variation over time
    • Scores are institutional averages – mask strengths
    • Distorting effect of weightings and scalings and data manipulation
    • Many of criteria used are inter-related (ie not independent)
  • 10. ... extremely dangerous...
    • Apples and elephants and paperclips
    • Perverse incentives
    • Hugely political – Government interest
    • Open to manipulation
    • Delivered by journalists
    • Spurious precision – there’s no such thing as a good league table
    • Serious consequences for universities, departments, staff and students
  • 11. The Times 2007
    • 1 Oxford
    • 2 Cambridge
    • 3 Imperial
    • 4 LSE
    • 5 St Andrews
    • 6 UCL
    • 7 Warwick
    • 8 Bristol
    • 9 Durham
    • 10 King’s
    11 Bath 12 Loughborough 13 Edinburgh 14 Southampton 15 Aston 16 York 17 Exeter 18 SOAS 19 Nottingham 20 UEA
  • 12. Sunday Times 2007
    • 1 Cambridge
    • 2 Oxford
    • 3 LSE
    • 4 Imperial
    • 5 UCL
    • 6 St Andrews
    • 7 Warwick
    • 8 York
    • 9 Bath
    • 10 Bristol
    11 Durham 12 King’s 13 Loughborough 14 Edinburgh 15 Nottingham 16 Southampton 17 Exeter 18 Lancaster 19= Manchester 19= Leicester
  • 13. The Guardian 2007
    • 1 Oxford
    • 2 Cambridge
    • 3 Imperial
    • 4 St Andrews
    • 5 UCL
    • 6 LSE
    • 7 Edinburgh
    • 8 Warwick
    • 9 Loughborough
    • 10 Bath
    11 SOAS 12 King’s 13 Southampton 14 Bristol 15 York 16 Manchester 17 Durham 18 Birmingham 19 Nottingham 20 Leeds
  • 14. Good University Guide 2007
    • 1 Cambridge
    • 2 Oxford
    • 3 Imperial
    • 4 LSE
    • 5 St Andrews
    • 6 UCL
    • 7 Bristol
    • 8 Warwick
    • 9 Bath
    • 10 Durham
    • 11 Loughborough
    12 Aston 13 Royal Holloway 14= Nottingham 14= York 16 Edinburgh 17= King’s 17= Exeter 19 Lancaster 20= UEA 20= Leicester 20= Southampton
  • 15. And a completely different approach: UEL: TQ in the South East 2005 Surplus of good practice over recommendations (in QAA audit reports) 1 East London 4 2 King's College London 2 3 Brunel 2 4 Queen Mary, London 0 5 Kent 0 6 Hertfordshire 0 7 Royal Holloway -1 8 London South Bank -3 9 Greenwich -6 10 Essex -6 11 Anglia Polytechnic -9
  • 16. International value-added
    • Higher Education is now a global business
    • Global branding assisted by competitive ranking
    • International benchmarking increasingly important, especially in research
    • Student recruitment is increasingly international…
    • … mobile students are increasingly choosy
    • It’s all good healthy fun
  • 17. Just as dangerous...
    • Again, the criteria used do not reflect quality of education
    • Archaic and irrelevant data
    • Major biases towards large, English-speaking, research-intensive and science-focused universities
    • Institutional scores are extraordinarily broad brush
    • Distorting effect of weightings, scalings and data manipulation
    • Far from comprehensive surveys of peers and employers
  • 18. Times Higher World Rankings 2007
    • 2= Cambridge (2)
    • 3= Oxford (3)
    • 5 Imperial College (13)
    • 9 University College London (25)
    • 23 Edinburgh (33)
    • 24 King’s London (46)
    • 30 Manchester (40)
    • 37 Bristol (64)
    • 57 Warwick (73)
    • 59 London School of Economics (17)
    65 Birmingham (90) 68 Sheffield (102) 70 Nottingham (85) 74 York (124) 76 St Andrews (109) 80= Leeds (121) 80= Southampton (141) 83 Glasgow (81) 99 Cardiff (141)
  • 19. Shanghai Jiao Tong 2007
    • 4 Cambridge (2)
    • 10 Oxford (10)
    • 23 Imperial (23)
    • 25 UCL (26)
    • 48 Manchester (50)
    • 53 Edinburgh (52)
    62 Bristol (62) 72 Sheffield (69) 81 Nottingham (79) 83 King’s (83) 92 Birmingham (90)
  • 20. Shanghai Jiao Tong 2007: Regional Analysis 5 2 1 Africas 100 64 42 24 9 1 Asia/ Pacific 208 172 123 80 34 2 Europe 197 164 138 98 58 17 North/ Latin America Top 500 Top 400 Top 300 Top 200 Top 100 Top 20 Region
  • 21. Economist 2007 Global MBA Rankings
    • 7 Cambridge: Judge
    • 10 Henley
    • 11 Cranfield
    • 15 London Business School
    • 19 Ashridge
    • 27 Warwick
    • 31 Oxford: Said
    • 38 City: Cass
    • 50 Lancaster
    • 52 Leeds
    • 54 Aston
    • Edinburgh
    • Manchester
    • Imperial: Tanaka
    • 59 Durham
    • 62 Nottingham
    • 63 Birmingham
    • 64 Strathclyde
    • 65 Bath
    • 75 Glasgow
    • 88 Sheffield
    • 93 Bradford
    • 98 Newcastle
  • 22. Financial Times 2008 Global MBA Rankings
    • 2 London Business School
    • 10 Cambridge: Judge
    • 19 Oxford: Said
    • 22= Lancaster
    • Manchester
    • 29 Warwick
    • 30= Cranfield
    • Strathclyde
    35 Imperial: Tanaka 41 City: Cass 44 Edinburgh 48= Leeds 53 Bradford/TiasNimbas 69 Bath 76 Nottingham
  • 23. Another approach: Ecole des Mines de Paris Rankings
    • 1 Harvard
    • 10 Ecole des Mines de Paris
    • 11 Oxford
    • 26 Manchester
    • 35= Queen’s
    • 35= Glasgow
    60= Cambridge 89= Heriot-Watt 89= Bath 89= Huddersfield 89= Sheffield 89= Uni of Wales: Swansea (and over 100 others…)
  • 24. Do it yourself Your chance to show that you have a better understanding than the press of what really matters in HE
  • 25. Do it yourself All you have to do is use your skill and judgement to determine the most sensible weighting which should be applied to the criteria you select
  • 26. UK approaches
    • The Times
      • 8 indicators, z-scoring used
      • Teaching weighted @ 1.5 (now using only NSS)
      • Research weighted @ 1.5
    • The Sunday Times
      • 9 indicators - student satisfaction weighted x1.5 (NSS); teaching excellence x1.0
      • A level scores weighted x2.5 and research weighted x2
      • Also – Head Teachers’ assessment and drop-out rate (variable)
  • 27. UK approaches 2
    • The Guardian
      • 7 indicators in subject tables (research ratings do not feature)
      • Teaching quality (10%) and Student Feedback (5%) in each subject table - both derived from NSS
      • Entry qualifications, SSR, Spend per student, job prospects, Value-added @ 17%
      • Overall table in 2007 is an average of subject tables
  • 28. International approaches 1
    • Shanghai Jiao Tong: Ranking of World Universities
      • 6 indicators covering: quality of education; quality of faculty; research output; performance relative to size
      • Includes: Nobel and Fields winners among alumni and staff; highly cited researchers; articles in Nature and Science ; articles in citation indices.
  • 29. International approaches 2
    • Times Higher World University Rankings
      • Peer review: 40%
      • Citations per Faculty member and SSR: each 20%
      • Recruiter review: 10%
      • Proportions of international Faculty and students: each 5%
  • 30. The critical factors (by frequency of appearance in the tables)
    • Teaching evaluation: NSS
    • A level scores
    • Staff:Student Ratios
    • Graduate employment rates
    • RAE results
    • Spending on library and computing
    • Degree classifications
    • Completion rates
  • 31. An indicator too far (not covered in the UK tables - yet)
    • Alumni giving
    • Academic staff pay
    • Research income
    • Citations
    • Brand impact
    But international tables will increasingly influence methodologies of UK tables
  • 32. What is to be done
    • Publish prolifically and get top RAE grades
    • Be Highly Cited
    • Get articles in Nature and Science
    • Win a Nobel Prize or a Fields Medal
    • Make sure your students all get top jobs with big multinationals (and then win Nobels)
    • Plug the institution relentlessly and cultivate peers, Headmasters/mistresses and employers
    • Improve NSS results (and SSRs) - every little helps
    • Spend more on Library and IT and everything else to do with teaching and learning
    • Recruit more international students and staff (all with Nobel potential)
  • 33. Conclusions
    • They aren’t going to go away
    • The international dimension will become increasingly significant
    • Methodologies - for both national and international tables - are all dubious, at best
    • They can and will be used by many different groups – but can be dangerous in the wrong hands
    • Handle with great care!
  • 34. Finally For a copy of the presentation and further league table commentary and observations, visit: http://registrarism.wordpress.com/