Who cares about rankings, everyone knows Newcastle is #1

It’s a meaningless poll

Today, The Times Higher Education released their most recent rankings for the best universities in Europe.

The UK topped a ranking of the 200 best universities in Europe, taking nearly a quarter of places. However, Newcastle finished a disappointing 196th, which is an unfair reflection of my uni.

It’s no lie that people care about how well they do in life and if they are ranked as the best of the best, so they should. However, when it comes to rankings and polls, you shouldn’t make your life choices based solely on them.

Numba one for me

The universities were measured on their teaching environment, research environment, research influence, industry income and international outlook. All pretty boring, and clearly not things that students care about too much. I’ve never heard anyone asking about a uni’s research influence at an open day, I don’t know about you.

My guess is that the people who review and rank these places have an average age of 40 and probably aren’t looking into the same sorts of things that students care about as much such as nightlife, things to do in the area and the general feel of the place among other things. If you look too much into something, you miss the bigger picture.

If only it was ranked on nightlife

There seems to be a generalisation with these rankings that doesn’t take into consideration what makes something great to the individual.

If everyone had the same opinion, wouldn’t life be boring? If you loved cake but someone said they didn’t, would you not eat it again purely because of that one person’s opinion? I think not. It’s similar here. Just because Newcastle is 196th in the Times, it doesn’t stop any students in the Toon knowing that they’ve picked the best one in the world.

This is not a vendetta against the reviewers, they’re just doing their job. But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter, because who really gives that much of a shit?