Rankings tables are one of the many resources that you can use to help you choose the right institution to study at. British newspapers publish university and Business School league tables every year, which can give you an indication of which UK institutions are the most highly respected in both Britain and the world.
How Important are Rankings Tables?
Institutions are listed from best to worst, and are judged on criteria such as research quality and student satisfaction. However, when looking at rankings tables, it is important to remember a few things.
Firstly, some universities have a worse reputation overall than others but may be better in certain subjects, so you should look at the individual subject league tables as well as the overall university ones. Similarly, some universities specialising in vocational subjects may offer good courses, but do not score highly on the league tables. This could be because they do not focus on research, or because their entry standards are low.
There may also be differences between the institutions that are most respected in the UK and those that are respected internationally. If you hope to use your British undergraduate degree to get a job in your home country, find out which British universities and courses are most revered by employers at home. You can do this by asking a careers advisor or by approaching employers directly.
Basically, whilst rankings tables can be a useful indication of the academic reputation of UK universities, they should not be given too much importance, as there are many factors that you should take into account when choosing the UK institution that is right for you. As important as academic reputation is, you should also look at the university’s location, the contents of the course, accommodation and the students union to name just a few of the other factors that should shape your decisions.