Bunch of rankers
The latest Guardian League Tables are out, but is there actually any point to them?
There’s an inherent need to classify and order – it’s human nature. It seems you can’t enjoy anything anymore without having to categorise, criticise and rank it. As such, the recent Guardian University League Table 2015 was released, ranking Leeds University 28th.
Two years ago we were 37th. The following year, we jumped three places to reach a tantalising 34th, and this year we have climbed another a tremendous six places to assume our position at 28th. Assuming we maintain this pattern of growth and our ranking continues to increase exponentially, we could soon see Leeds University overtaking the likes of Oxbridge at the top of the table.
Of course, I’m joking. Skewed criteria such as ‘UCAS average entry tariff’, ‘Staff to Student ratio’ and ‘Spend per Student’ are always going to land Leeds in the 20s behind some of the more lucrative universities; but do these things really make for a good university?
Ranking universities is like comparing cats and dogs, but in my opinion, it comes down to two things – a good degree and a good time. A university needs to strike a balance between the two in order to be successful. There’s no point going to a university where the work ethic entails not having a life outside of work, but equally there’s no point having a three year party and ending up with a degree that isn’t worth more than the paper on which it’s written.
If I were to devise a ranking system based on the number of edgy nights out, greasy 24-hour takeaways and students wearing jeans that don’t quite fit, I’m sure that Leeds would be much closer to clinching that top spot.
Combine cheesy nights at Fruity, hilarious comedy clubs and restaurants as far as the eye can see with beautiful historic buildings at a prestigious Red Brick university and one of the highest student satisfaction scores in the UK – and you’re onto a winner.
So yes, our ranking is improving. But do I care? Not really. University is as much about the experience as the degree you obtain and no statistics about final year teaching feedback are going to deter me from the best university of them all. (Just to clarify, I’m talking about Leeds).
In other news, at the other end of the table, Leeds Met slipped down a place to 107th.