Sunday, May 30, 2010

WALES AND THE GOOD UNIVERSITY GUIDE

Given the speech by the Welsh Education Minister earlier this week, it may be worth examining the latest league tables from the Times Good University Guide.

The Times Good University Guide is the most authoritative and widely respected guide to universities in the UK and is an essential and comprehensive tool for students and parents at home and abroad.

It ranks 113 UK universities according to eight criteria, including student satisfaction, research quality and degree results.

So what are the results for Wales?

Cardiff 34 (-8)
Aberystwyth 40 (+6)
Swansea 49 (+1)
Bangor 54 (+1)
UWIC 67 (+9)
Lampeter 85 (-6)
Glynd┼Ár 93 (+4)
Glamorgan 94 (0)
UWCN, Newport 96 (+11)

As the ranking above, Cardiff remains the best university in Wales, although it continues to lose ground on its rivals within the elite Russell Group, dropping a further eight places to 34th.

It is followed by Aberystwyth, whose ranking has increased to 40th. Bangor and Swansea have moved up one place.

The major winners in this year's league table seem to be mainly the new universities within Wales, with UWIC climbing nine places, Glyndwr four places, and the University of Wales Newport eleven places.

The only exception to this group is Glamorgan, which has stayed still since last year and slipped behind Glyndwr in the rankings.

I would expect the Minister will be looking very closely at this data over the next few weeks as he reflects on the financial support that Government will give to the university sector over the next few years.

Certainly, the improvements in the new institution sector should make him pause for thought at the potential this part of the higher education sector can offer the Welsh economy.