27 April 2017

The Complete Universities Guide is a ranking of British universities based on sources in the public domain, including the National Student Survey, the Higher Education Statistics Agencyand the Research Excellence Framework (REF), and occasionally from universities themselves. The ranking is basically an attempt to measure quality from the viewpoint of students. There are ten indicators:

  • Entry standards based on examination results
  • Student satisfaction based on data from the National Student Survey
  • Research quality derived from the 2014 REF
  • Graduate prospects based on the employability of graduates
  • Research intensity, that is the proportion of staff active in research
  • Staff- student ratio
  • Spending per student on academic services.
  • Spending on facilities
  • Number of students getting first or upper second class degrees
  • Completion rate of first degree graduates.

The top five universities this year are:

  1. University of Cambridge
  2. University of Oxford
  3. St Andrew’s University
  4. London School of economics
  5. Imperial College London.

The top universities for each criterion are:

Entry standards; University of Cambridge

Student satisfaction University of Buckingham

Research quality; Imperial College London

Research intensity; University of Cambridge

Graduate prospects; St George’s, University of London

Student-staff ratio; University of Oxford

Academic services; Middlesex University

Facilities; Harper Adams University

Good honours degrees; University of Oxford.

Degree completion; University of Cambridge.

At the top of these rankings there was little change from last year. Further down there was a lot of churning. For example, Nottingham Trent University rose 11 places to 52nd and Liverpool Hope University 25 places to 58th while the University of Aston and Norwich University of the Arts fell 19 and 18 places respectively.

The Complete University Guide






IREG Initiatives

With the fast development of science and technology, as well as the internationalization of scientific activities, international academic awards have been more and more popular and influential. Numerous international academic awards have been established to provide individuals with incentives and motivation for new academic work and to reward past excellent academic accomplishments.


The purpose of the IREG Ranking Audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify and attest that ranking under review is done professionally, with a transparent methodology, observes good practices and responds to a need for relevant information of various stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.


National and international academic rankings play ever increasing role as a barometer of quality of higher education institutions. The purpose of "IREG Inventory of National Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.


The purpose of the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings is to provide recommendations for appropriate interpretations, uses and applications of rankings by potential interested parties, including students and parents, institutions of higher education, policymakers, quality assurance and funding organizations, employers and the media. Specific recommendations have been formulated for each group of stakeholders.


News from IREG Members

The worldwide ranking UI GreenMetric Workshop in Bologna

This Bologna workshop is aimed to highlight the commitment of Italian universities towards a sustainable 360° approach. UI GM Chairperson, Riri Fitri Sari, will showcase the ranking’s structure and indicators in details. Italian participants are warmly invited to ask questions and raise issues concerning the specificity of the Italian universities to fit into the UI GreenMetric ranking. The Alma Mater Studiorum assumes the role of National Network Hub for UI GM in the framework of this event that will also host experts from RUS (Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile).

Ranking conference in Warsaw

Polish universities feel, they deserve a better place in international rankings. To discuss what can and should be done to improve the quality of research, rectors of best universities in the country gathered 1-2 December in Warsaw at the conference “Polish Universities in International Perspective – Rankings and Strategic Management of University” organized by Perspektywy Education Foundation jointly with the Conference of Rectors (CRASP) and Polish Accreditation Commission (PAC).

Conference on Universities’ Reputation

Spanish Universidad de Navarra organizes the International Conference BUILDING UNIVERSITIES' REPUTATION Understanding the Student Perspective – Key to a Reputation Strategy, Pamplona, Spain 30-31 March 2017. www.unav.edu/bur

Report on Activities of IREG Observatory 2015-1016

Dr. Jan Sadlak, President of IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence at the General Assembly held in Lisbon on 6 May 2016 presented a detailed report on activities of the organization, the President and members of the Executive Committee in the period: May 2015 – May 2016.

You may ready the report HERE.

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