League tables are useless, only reputation matters

Student satisfaction counts for nothing when you’re applying for a job


There are so many tables out there, and all of them are feeding you the same type of information. It’s all bullshit.

These league tables are trying to destroy the reputation of my university. Bristol – once upheld as one of the greatest institutions in our country, hailed for academic excellence and cultural delicacy. Now depicted by the Guardian as 35th in the country. How dare they? Our reputation trumps it all, so these stupid little league tables have really only proved one thing. They’re based on nothing worthwhile and they know nothing of what a good university is really about.

A symbol of Bristol's reputation

A symbol of Bristol’s reputation

So, multiple times per year, they bring out all of these stupid league tables telling you how good or bad your university is now considered (by those who write the tables). Nationally and even globally, they like to tear the best universities out there to pieces, and build up the confidence of the unknown.

The worst thing about these tables, is that people actually read them and feel like they impact your prospects. Distant relatives or family friends, enjoy a bit of ‘schadenfreude’ in telling you that your uni is now ranked 24th compared to your cousins basically polytechnic uni, that has for some obscure and probably student satisfaction related measure, ended up being ranked 10th in the UK. Whatever, its all just pointless information.

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The one hope to cling onto is the fact that employers rely more on the universities reputation. Now, when it comes to reputation, theres a clear list on institutions that have always been considered as the Top 20 universities in the UK. Unchangeable and common knowledge: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, LSE, UCL, Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Exeter, Manchester, Bath, Warwick, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Loughborough, Kings College London, Cardiff, and York.

These names are what brings you success, not the ever changing bollocks that is the university league tables.

The additional argument of course, is that the league tables don’t judge on the experience of your university combined with academic greatness. And, as a student, I can tell you that is what is we’re all looking for. We all want to have fun, experience that university life. We don’t all necessarily want to live as neeks, with our heads in books in a small little town with no good night life. Sure, Oxbridge may always be top but who wants that kind of misery?