Advice for parents about the career options for their children

League tables

University league tables have been published for almost 20 years, and have been the subject of much debate about the pros and cons of such comparative measurement among academics ever since. Utilising data of this type within the higher education sector as well as in schools generally and especially within the healthcare professions for example have become accepted as tools for making value judgements on a variety of aspects of those institutions. Despite this, many universities are still opposed to the concept of direct comparisons between institution and institution, regardless of the fact that this is what potential applicants must do in order to make an informed decision about whether or not to apply. Universities themselves will state that there is no direct comparison in many cases; they are all distinct and different in their approach and ethos, however there are many aspects by which they can, and are measurable and indeed comparable with one another, and it is these aspects that the league tables identify and promote.

The data for the League Table all come from sources found within the public domain. The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) provides data for entry expectations, staffing ratios, academic services spending, spending on facilities, degree outcomes and destination prospects. HESA is the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about the universities.


League Tables University Guide

University League Tables

The university league table for the UK can be found at

League Tables


It is worth remembering that a university's position in the League Table will reflect more than just their performance against a set of criteria over a single year. Many of those at the top end of the Table are there because they have built their reputations over many years, while some of those near the lower end may still be relatively new but no less relevant to your son or daughter's needs.

Further information:

A comprehensive university comparison site offering students resources, tools, student discounts and university stats and rankings

The Guardian University Guide
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings

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A comprehensive university comparison site, offering students resources, tools, student discounts and university stats and rankings