Guardian University Guide 2016

The latest Guardian University Guide has just come out.. This is the league table that doesn’t have any reference to research impact or intensity in its metrics, and so is the one used by universities who focus on being teaching led institutions.

A lot of emphasis is given to student experience, through the outcomes of the National Student Survey, and entry grades are dealt with twice – firstly in the details of entry tariff, and secondly in the measure of “value added”, which is an assessment of good degrees, but related to the entry grades of individual students. It’s notable that in previous years, Oxford had the highest value added score, so it is more a measure of good degrees than an assessment of supporting widening participation.

The headlines from this year’s guide are:

Cambridge remains in the top spot, with Oxford second

Coventry rises to 15th, placing it above some Russell Group universities, and making it teh highest placed post 92 university. How do they do it?

John Latham, vice-chancellor of Coventry University, says the university’s success is down to its focus on students’ needs. “We’re a modern university, but not just in the sense that we haven’t been around for as long – we’re very modern in our approach. We’re challenging the system. We’re bringing in new forms of pedagogy and listening to students.”

The university has three objectives: “teaching students well, making sure that students are listened to, and making sure they get good jobs at the end of their course,” says Ian Dunn, deputy vice-chancellor for student experience at Coventry.

Other big winners – Hull go up 21 places, Liverpool John Moores 22 places, De Montfort 20 places, Roehampton 22 places, Leeds Trinity 27 places, Sussex 24 places, Falmouth 22 places.

Going the other way – Northampton drop 17 places, Derby 23 places, UWE 30 places, UCLAN 18 places, Plymouth 19 places, Glyndwr 39 places.

Staffordshire University rise 7 places to 83rd – a third year of steady rises through the table, with better SSR results, improved value added and satisfaction with teaching.