University of York ranked ninth in The Times Good University Guide

It has been revealed today that the University of York has been ranked ninth in The Times Good University Guide, up two places from last year.

The table, which takes into account areas such as student satisfaction, research quality and good honours awarded, shows noticeable improvement in areas such as student staff ratio and graduate prospects.

The guide ranks the Health Science Department as top in the country for nursing, up three places from the previous year, and Social Policy and Social Work was in the top three. Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry and History of Art were also named top five in their subject areas.

In a statement, a University spokesperson commented: “Our position reflects the hard work of our staff in pursuit of the highest standards in both teaching and research and further underlines York’s reputation as one of the leading universities in the UK and the world.”

Tim Ngwena, YUSU President, also expressed his reassurance at the results: “We are pleased to see that the York’s higher place in this year’s rankings reflects it’s continuing focus on teaching, research and service to students.”

He continued: “Although the university improved on all counts, there are still areas (employability for instance) where we need to work with the university to ensure that our place in the rankings reflects the high quality of our staff and students.”

The guide places now places York above institutions such as Exeter and Bristol, illustrating improvement from 2009/10. York also showed one of the highest rates of student satisfaction, 81 per cent, in comparison to LSE and Imperial College, who gained 72 per cent and 76 per cent respectively.

Students have similarly conveyed their enthusiasm for York’s overall improvement. Bethany Picken, a first year History student commented: “It’s really great that York has made such progress over the past year. It makes you feel proud to be a student here, and will show the rest of the country how good of a University York is.”

27 comments

  1. GET IN MY SON! :) Good stuff.

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  2. 27 May ’10 at 11:44 pm

    Refuse to pay for web content

    Sadly us poor students can’t actually SEE the guide. No, you have to pay Murdoch for that, the Times is a subscription only website. It’s times like this I’m most thankful for the BBC. Or Guardian. Or even (dare I say it) the Daily Mail.

    Anyway, the top 25 can be seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Good_University_Guide#Times_Good_University_Guide

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  3. 27 May ’10 at 11:59 pm

    hold that thought

    its actually atm free to use, Murdoch is getting people interested before forcing them to pay… :(

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  4. 28 May ’10 at 12:14 am

    double check that thought

    Actually the BBC is very similar in this regard in that it’s paid by the consumers (taxpayers), and then essentially subsidised for non-taxpayers, so it’s only free as long as you’re not a tax payer.

    The other two being funded through adverts puts them in a different category altogether, being completely free for the consumer.

    The subscription model isn’t intended for scrounging student types, it’s intended for the type of oldie who actually wants to pay for it because they feel like they’re cheating if they don’t. Hard to relate to, but there are a lot of people like that.

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  5. I think this is a fair reflection of our performance in the UK, but it’s time to stop kidding ourselves that we are 70th in the world. I know someone will challenge my statement, so below are universities the THES-QS rankings rank as being below York but are (I’d say undoubtedly) of much greater standing than us. I’m not going to go into methodologies or even the new THES system. Congrats though, we are definitely top 10 in the UK, but without the funding of the universities of other countries (second contraversial statement coming up) that we could get by raising the tuition fee cap we simply can’t match American academic muscle. There are other sources of money involved but I’d rather get my money’s worth than a degree on the cheap.

    Washington St Louis, UCSD, UT Austin, UNC-Chapel Hill, Dartmouth, Purdue, UCSB, USC, OSU and Georgetown.

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  6. @hmmmm: You make a good point. I agree that THES-QS saying York is ‘better’ than places like Dartmouth College is definately ill-concieved. Like you say the problem is funding, which limits not only York but many other UK universities. American universities are obscenely rich in comparison to UK ones, for example, Harvard University has a higher endowment than Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial and UCL combined.

    Nonetheless it’s good to see York is still doing well in the league tables. It has consistently ranked in the UK top ten for years, and it seems fitting to say it is a top ten UK university. It is particularly good to see York’s graduate prospects improving as well!

    This year’s Independant University table has also ranked York 10th in the UK, by the way.

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  7. But the other end of the spectrum is ridiculous. I think we are a top 70 institution if you consider that in the Times York is 70th, LSE is 67th and MANCHESTER is 26th then you get how ridiculous it is. ICL and UCL rank higher than Oxford? In comparison, the Times UK league table ranks Oxford TOP and Manchester doesn’t make the top 25. So, well, the international league table is complete bollocks.

    But kudos to York for heading upwards again. More employability, more spending on facilities and we’ll be back up to 7-8th where we belong ;)

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  8. and still we refuse to join the Russell group as much as they entice us to join. We are just too cool for school! :D

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  9. But ~, Manchester ranked 3rd in the country for research power in the 2008 RAE. Certainly not 26th in the world though. We are unboubtedly a top 10 UK university, several methods and newspapers have ranked us as such. However, parading “A Top 100 World University” all over the place because an anglo-saxon biased system has us there, when another (equally flawed IMO) system has us 200-300, is plain wrong.

    I think it’s time for us to stop kidding ourselves that we ‘deserve’ a free education or that higher fees cut the poor out of university, it merely adds to debt that you pay back, it had nothing to do with your parents, unless your family is very rich and they can pay it, for most it makes no difference where you’re from. As it stands, 10K for a degree (on fees, you can’t count living expenses as you’d pay them if there were no fees) is a bargain. Maybe if we stopped the rhetoric that university is universally better for everyone then we could afford to send the brightest, regardless of cost. But I won’t win that argument here, people always want something for nothing. That’s beside the point, well done York, we should be aiming to be like Edinburgh, Warwick and Durham next.

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  10. The Times Good University Guide <—- add hyperlink

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  11. 28 May ’10 at 5:32 pm

    History of Artttt

    Personally, as a history of art student, the department does not need a ego boost. I am sure, even though only a first year student that the student satisfaction from our year will decrease, especially regarding the new module choice system. How can I enjoy a year of my degree studying modules I have no interest in simply because I wasn’t nearer the front of the ‘queue’? Yes, possibly student swith their top choices will love the year, and learn to love the department, but personally, I think the department will not change, even when they apparently want to listen to our views if they think they are doing well enough in the tables. I may be wrong, and it might not work like this, it is just my personal opinion.

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  12. York is a very good university, but performs very badly when it comes to graduate prospects. I really think that the careers services should be improved. At the moment, we rank lower than universities such as Aston, Edin Napier, Heriot-Watt, Strathclyde and City in this respect!

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  13. 29 May ’10 at 1:49 am

    1st Year Nursing Student

    It’s great our department gets some recognition (for a change!)
    It gets incredibly tedious explaining to BA students that, yes, our uni has a course for nurses to train, that it is a graduate course (on the whole) and that we, and the staff who support us, work very hard!
    Well done York!

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  14. The fees discussion is interesting, both sides raise interesting points. I suppose we could raise fees but have plenty of bursaries for students from low-income families, but we have to avoid the situation in America where university education is crippling for middle-income families. More government spending per place would be nice too: it’s not just about increasing the number of places but consolidating the ones you have. I’ll be interested to see what happens with regards to fees.

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  15. “I think it’s time for us to stop kidding ourselves that we ‘deserve’ a free education or that higher fees cut the poor out of university

    @hmmmm

    just like everyone else like hmmm who argues for an increased fee/funding you MUST consider graduate tax, it works in Scotland it was incidentally the model Brown favoured but Blair wanted the fee. Graduate tax, even at a rate of 7% for 10 years (which is roughly what most graduates pay anyway in Loan) or perhaps a less immediate taxing 1 or 2% over a generation of 30 years would more than bridge the gap. Those who wanted to take their skills into teaching would not have to pay the same amount back to those who earned pots and pots in the city and the Higher Education system (from those highest earners) would receive the kind of re-numeration that could give it potloads more than it would have now.

    Furthermore on Aris’ point it would encourage universities to make their graduates more employable, because if their graduates earn less… so do they.

    More importantly massive fees would not only hamper social mobility because of the cost but reduce the pressure government could place on institutions like Oxbridge/Russell group to be able to stop them from continually taking 50% of their entrants from the 8% private school sector. Let them charge huge fees and the governments say in their intake becomes diminished, this removes a key lever of our democratic government to provide social mobility and leaves it in the hands of a small oligarchy of academics.

    Finally those in favour of fee hikes are really trying to deceive you. Universities in short want to have their cake and eat it, there is nothing stopping them charging what on earth they like. The agreement on fees is based on a large amount of government money for research and development they receive. Why should we give them public money if they are not acting in the public interest by charging students exorbitant fees? My degree already has me paying about £40 a contact hour!!!

    GRADUATE TAX TO FUND HEFCE ALL THE WAY

    Increased fees=really bad news all round.

    PS @ Aris
    York is doing significantly better at graduate prospects this year! Better than most of the London Unis and on par with top Russell Group institutions!!! :D

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  16. York graduate prospects are quite poor, compared to LSE, Kings College and Manchester, as well as obviously Oxbridge.

    Do people actually believe that York is ninth in the country??? Or do you just want to believe because these balony statistics because you attend York????????

    York’s library is definitely not 9th in the UK.
    York’s lecture halls are definitely not 9th in the world the UK.

    York itself has little prospects, there is not a thriving business community and I could never stay here beyond my degree years.

    These statistics need to be analysed, especially the student satisfaction data. How many York students actually participated in the surveys that this data was collected from?

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  17. 30 May ’10 at 10:06 pm

    Viscount Goderich

    @York Lover

    “Furthermore on Aris’ point it would encourage universities to make their graduates more employable, because if their graduates earn less… so do they”

    Maybe not ‘more employable’ on a broader sense, but it would just turn Universities into factories for producing people to work in the city and other high paid jobs – but not those which are socially beneficial like nurses.

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  18. The higher tuition fees argument is a duff one. Increasing the cost of a degree does not increase its value. One of the main bonuses to the HE system in the UK is that it’s accessible to all, unlike the US system. We need to have more money put into it whilst maintaining (or even improving, as the system isn’t too accessible atm) that option. I’m not saying that 50% of people going to uni is a good idea – it isn’t – but ensuring that anyone is able to without feeling that there are major problems for them… whereas a £14,000 tuition fee would have at the very least stopped ME from attending university… is important. So a graduate tax or a free system is important. To a millionaire family, £60,000 is nothing. To someone from my background, it’s two mortgages. The people at the bottom would be even more put off.

    But that’s a side issue and doesn’t affect our rankings in the UK. We’ve been ranked in the top 5 for research and 2nd for teaching before so the issue is in things like graduate employment, facility expenditure and the like.

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  19. 1 Jun ’10 at 10:27 am

    same old argument

    I don’t understand this argument, you have a loan, with higher fees I think the loan should (and would) be increased proportionally. If you don’t think it’s worth it in the long run (ie paying back a loan) then don’t come to university. Why should the tax payer pay for your three/four year jolly when you aren’t prepared to stump up the cash over the first 5-10 years after graduation? I have no problem with free education for medicine/teaching but I’d draw the line at that. Yes, it’s great if your parents can pay your fees, but the vast majority of them don’t, you’re an adult when you decide to take on the debt of university, it’s not generally about your family background.

    I think the real poor, that is to say the people who aren’t just lower middle class, that will never get to university and are doing the vital low paid jobs, are doing the worst out of this, paying for other people to pratt about on degrees that do not benefit the country. University is not an extension of school, we choose to go, as such we should pay for it. Subsidised degrees, fine, free ones or a pathetic amount like £3000 a year? Not fair.

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  20. Why should the taxpayer pay for higher education? Because the taxpayer benefits both directly and indirectly from a well educated population.

    Graduates tend to have higher salaries anyway, so they pay more tax. And obviously you could not have a functional society without doctors, lawyers, engineers etc. – it makes perfect sense for higher education to be subsidised, if not completely free (when that’s economically possible).

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  21. A few points, mostly directed at Anna Banana:

    It’d be a sad situation if a league table was based on the quality of our ‘lecture halls’. Yes, the employability isn’t quite as high as some other institutions, but I think you’ll find that’s a factor in both The Times and many other league tables. If you’re a good enough candidate otherwise, I can’t imagine that a York graduate is any less employable than a job applicant from a comparable institution. (Comparing with Oxbridge is grossly unfair).

    The student satisfaction data relates to the National Student Survey. Do you have any evidence that a lower percentage of York students participated in the survey?

    Degree satisfaction for me (and I hope the majority) doesn’t specifically relate to whether I get a job in the city at the end as it seems to for you.

    Graduate prospects aren’t as high as we’d all hope (I’m sure a few more links with graduate employers wouldn’t go amiss) but we have to remember that we study at an academic, research-based institution, not a directly vocational one.

    Lastly, on the tuition fees point: family background is absolutely irrelevant to this argument, surely. I don’t think many families could put together the £10000 tuition fees for a three year degree in advance. I think the people arguing against an increase are forgetting that it’s a student loan… the loan system means equality, and how poor you and your family are before coming to York isn’t relevant in this regard.

    How many more thousands people will be prepared to pay for an arts degree providing negligible equipment except the room in which we’re taught is another issue…

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  22. Dear “same old argument”,

    Maybe you don’t actually understand the world and are in desperate need of a proper education? There is no problem with paying for it in the first 5 years after graduation, if you can afford to.

    But FIFTY F***ING PERCENT OF STUDENTS WILL NEVER PAY BACK THEIR LOAN, at current rates. Get that into your dimwitted skull. The issue is not that people shouldn’t pay for them but that people *can’t* pay for them. Hiking it up to £65,000 of debt will not improve that fact! You will have to earn £51,000 to pay back the INTEREST on that debt, and that’s assuming that interest is actually at a reasonable amount, whereas it’s actually above inflation.

    THAT is the problem with the potential of increasing. And the problem with the current system is that half of all students will not pay back their current loan – in which case their *interest* as well as original cost will be paid by the taxpayer anyway!! The system is completely screwed up and desperately needs fixing. And anyone who thinks that it’s a good system is incompetent at mathematics.

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  23. YORK IS [INSERT SUITABLE SWEAR WORD HERE]. YORK IS A MEDIOCRE UNIVERSITY. HONESTLY, IF YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE GETTING AN EDUCATION HERE, IT MUST BE BECAUSE YOU ARE COMPLACENT.

    WHICH NOTABLE SPEAKERS HAVE VISITED YORK THIS YEAR???????????? THE PRIME MINSTER OF WHICH COUNTRY???????????? OH WAIT, NONE.

    WHICH NOTABLE SPEAKERS HAVE VISITED YORK DEBATING SOCIETY?????????????????? OH WAIT, none.

    GROUND BREAKING RESEARCH?????????????????? OH WAIT, none.

    WILL A FUTURE PRIME MINSTER BE A YORK GRADUATE?????????? ahahahahahahahahahaha.

    YORK DOESNT CULTIVATE LEADERS, don’t worry, when you get out and into the real world, you will understand how mediocre York is. Even when you are the best in York, you are only the best because everyone else is mediocre. The best of York is below average elsewhere.

    University isn’t what it used to be.

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  24. I assume Anna Banana is fishing for replies by posting rambling, provocative nonsense. However I will sink to his/her level purely because Im bored. ‘the best of york is below average elsewhere’. What is your basis for this? And, Anna, what does that make you? You seem to be truly excellent at writing bollocks so the bollocks-writers of oxbridge must be out of this world.

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  25. Dear Anna Banana, please go away.

    For starters, we had Nick Clegg and that’s not exactly a nobody. We also have the General Synod at our university every year and other major conferences. We have a lot of relevant speakers. We had the Duke of York this term, the Director of BBC News over Easter and we had Greg Dyke come along every year once or twice to smaller events. The debating society is pretty new so it’s not a big deal if they don’t get major speakers. Still, though, a decent number of societies have had international speakers.

    The person who is currently running the Labour Party is a York graduate.

    Ground breaking research? Last week, two York Uni Chemist Professors became Fellows of the Royal Society. We’ve had a number of major research breakthroughs over the last few months, let alone the last few years, and found new treatments for Human African Trypanosomiasis, which kills 60,000 people per year. We do make an impact – and you could equally find faults with other universities anyway.

    So to summarise, please go away.

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  26. @Anna

    York is one of the highest rated universities in Britain for teaching and research – arguably the two variables that matter most. It is true that we do not have the money and the facilities that some other universities do, but we are growing and we are getting better and better every year. At the end of the day, we are here to get an education, not to marvel at our lecture halls or boast about the size of our library. If you don’t appreciate what this university has to offer, maybe you should not have accepted your offer. And if you are not a student here, maybe you should stop trolling.

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  27. A hotspot of racism, triablism, mediocrity and narrow mindedness

    From an international non caucasian (non white) student’s perspective:

    Racism – Ever pervasive. Both overt and covert racism are rampant. International students are considered inferior and treated with contempt. A large number of international students face racial abuse on a regular basis. Complaints lead to university ‘investigations’ which always exonnerate the culprits because of endemic triabilism. In all its years of existence not one university academic has ever been fired or punished for wrong doing. Students and staff at all levels are racist be it undergraduates or postgraduates, lecturers, administrators, college porters or temporary staff.

    Tribalism – Most of the teaching and administrative staff has been at the university for decades. Triablism is endemic to such an extent that the laws of the land and of the university code of practice are merely tools to torment anyone who dares to question or complain.

    Mediocrity – Most of the teaching is of poor quality. No department is immune as the rotten standards transcends departmental boundaries. Many departments obtain highest rankings in national research assessment exercises but that is merely on the basis of their research outputs. Teaching quality is horrendous in most courses.

    Narrow mindedness – Most academics and administrators are narrow minded and totally unreceptive of critisism about any shortcomings in their way of functioning. Those complaining are ‘punished’ which scares everyone else from coming forward with complaints.

    My sincere advice to international students is to stay away from this university at all costs. If you have no other option then don’t be foolish enough to try and fight the system. All you will get for your efforts is pain and suffering.

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