There is no official ranking for British Universities. However each year newspapers publish a list of university rankings known as League tables. Some of the best-known tables are the Times and the Guardian. These tables tend to be uniform in ranking the first 15 universities, which are usually the traditional universities that are very strong in all fields and are very difficult to get into. The criteria used for these Leagues tables is to an extent non-academic, and one will find contradicting rankings depending on which newspaper it is published in, and which criteria the newspapers use.
The most important way to rank a university is by evaluating its schools’ QAA (Quality Assurance Agency). The QAA is the body in the U.K. that reviews universities’ academic programs. This system focuses on individual subjects and/or programs of study thus providing judgments on quality in the form of ratings. The maximum score that a program can receive is 24, and anything rated 20 and above is considered “Excellent”.
Therefore, when choosing a university, there are various factors that someone must take into consideration. See below the 10 things a prospective student should be aware of when choosing a university.
- The location of the university
- University size (large, medium, small)
- Rumor university / academic rank in the general list of universities
- The reputation of the university / faculty rank based
- Conditions – Admissions Criteria. How many chances the student has to be admitted – if they meet the admission criteria of the University.
- Tuition costs and living
- Accommodation. If available either university or private halls
- Employment rate of graduates
- Programme Content – Research Guidelines – Teachers – Equipment – Laboratory facilities
- Percentage of International students – multicultural community for networking and contacts