New statistics have revealed that the University of York has dropped from 70th to 88th in the world’s top 100 universities table. The figures show a further decline from previous years also. In 2009 York ranked at 81st place, and in 2007 it ranked at 74th place.
The table is created by QS Topuniversities and is based upon research quality, graduate employability, teaching standards and how international the departments and student bodies are.
The University of York ranks 6th out of 172 universities for research quality, with 18 out of its 23 departments scoring 5 or 5* for research. The last RAE (Research Assesment Exercise), conducted in 2008, ranked the English, Biology, Health Economics and Health Sciences departments as number one in the UK for research.
According to the table, the majority of York students are satisfied with their learning experience despite a recent report showing that 87 per cent of York students answered ‘definitely’ or ‘maybe’ to a statement asked by a National Student Survey (NSS) report last month: ‘Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of my course’.
Despite falling in the overall rankings, most departments in York are shown to be advancing in the QS 2010 statistics. The Arts and Humanities departments have moved up 25 places to 75th in the world, whilst Life Sciences and Biomedicine, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences have also all moved up but are still outside the top 100 universities. Only Engineering and IT have dropped down the table.
Ben Humphrys, YUSU Academic Officer, told Nouse: “A high international reputation is important for recruitment, for the profile of our students to national and international businesses and in securing funding for the University; so it’s both great that the University is still in the top 100 and disappointing that we’ve dropped. However, when it comes to the actual experience of studying at York these indicators have got to be taken with a pinch of salt – very few of these indicators refer to the factors which affect students. For students at York it’s crucial that we pay attention to the real indicators of the experience – the NSS, student staff ratios, facilities spend and our regular departmental checks.”
For the first time in seven years an Ivy League University has been knocked off the top spot by a UK institution, Cambridge University. Oxford, however, dropped from number five to number six in the rankings. Overall the UK fell from joint-third to 16th place in the rankings. Finland has topped the league table, with Iceland coming second. In the UK, 38.7 per cent of school-leavers go on to gain a degree, according to the figures, whereas in Iceland it is over 66 per cent.
Sally Hunt, of the University and College Union, said: “We have plummeted down a graduate league table – going from a major player to a relegation candidate in less than a decade.”
To see YUSU’s comment on the recently released National Student Survey, visit http://www.yusu.org/blog/entry/435.