The Guardian’s 2021 university rankings were released last week. Since last year, there have been methodology changes and some surprising results. The University of Nottingham dropped from 19th position in the league table for 2020 to 38th for 2021.
The Guardian added some new factors to the mix, changing the composition of the table completely
Prospective students familiar with different ranking systems, such as those from QS and The Complete University Guide, will recognise how The Guardian’s system almost always contrasts the most. With The Guardian, universities that come under the top 10 elsewhere can be placed in any position on the top 50, resulting in many universities sitting lower in the ranking tables than they may have hoped.
This difference in rankings is because The Guardian takes pride in designing their tables with ‘students in mind’ and not academic research, aiming to ensure an ‘all-round positive experience for students’. However, this year, having decided the criterion was limited, The Guardian added some new factors to the mix, changing the composition of the table completely.
With data collected from the students themselves in the annual National Student Survey (NSS), the new criterion emphasises teaching methods, student satisfaction, student-to-staff ratio and future prospects, as well as the scale to which the academic performance of young people improves – ‘the value-added score’.
Engineering at Nottingham retains its high position on the rankings
A quick look at the table may dishearten prospective and existing students of the University of Nottingham as our ranking has plummeted but, rest assured, course satisfaction at 83%, satisfaction with teaching at 84.1% and value-added-score at 6, remain at an all-time-high for the institution. Additionally, the results showed that 87% of new UoN graduates were able to find a career within 15 months and 97% decided to continue at the University for higher education.
Engineering at Nottingham retains its high position on the rankings, coming 2nd in the country for electrical and electronic engineering, and 3rd for chemical engineering.
With the University’s neighbour, Trent University, situated in the heart of Nottingham, there has always been rivalry for the best student experience. Nottingham Trent ranked 41st as opposed to last year’s position of 12th, meaning the University of Nottingham has won the intra-city-battle for best student experience this year.
With decades of publishing stellar research, providing students with terrific prospects, both for higher education and the job market, the University of Nottingham has proven itself to be a prestigious institution. As a Russell Group university, the University has exemplified what it means to be an ‘research-intensive’ university with inspiring ethos, a unique history and an ‘outstanding teaching and learning experience’. This year’s Guardian rankings does however exemplify that academic research is not the only factor for students to consider when choosing a university.
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