The Complete University Guide

Performance measures: Hert, soul and cash to splash

The University of Hertfordshire has excelled for its spending on student facilities

The tables on how each university performed on the nine measures show Cambridge at the top of three tables, and Oxford and Imperial College London leading two. No particular surprises there then.

You would expect Cambridge to do well on research assessment, student satisfaction and entry standards. And you are probably not surprised that Oxford came top for good honours degrees and course completion, and Imperial College London for graduate prospects and spending on academic services.

The fact that University College London has the best staff student ratio, followed by Imperial College and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) confirms again the dominance of the golden triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London.

The big surprise is Hertfordshire's position at the top of the table for spending on facilities such as careers services, proving that "new" universities can outperform "old" ones. In Hertfordshire's case, the money was spent on sports services and a computer network.

Buckinghamshire New University, the former Buckinghamshire Chilterns University, which is in the table for the first time, also did well on facilities spending, coming in at number four.

All 113 universities are assessed on a range of nine measures in The Complete University Guide but some measures are given more weight than others. Two of the measures – student satisfaction and research assessment – are given a higher weighting than the others to reflect the importance that these have in the life of a university. So, a university that does badly in one of these two will find their position more adversely affected than if they did badly on one of the other seven.

But the indicator that really upset the apple cart was student satisfaction. Bottom of the student satisfaction table is the prestigious University of the Arts, London, which contains all the capital's foremost art colleges such as Chelsea, Central St Martin's and the London College of Fashion. It may be that art students are more awkward than others, given to complaining about their lot, but its position does not inspire confidence and may possibly act as a deterrent to overseas students.

Some highly-rated "old" universities also came low down in the student satisfaction league table, including Manchester (10th from bottom), Edinburgh, Sussex and Nottingham. Expect a concerted effort by these institutions next time round to find out what their students were complaining about and to put that right.

Bernard Kingston, who is responsible for compiling the table, says that some universities are really taking the league tables very seriously now. "They have set up little groups to see how they can improve their performance," he says.

One university in this category is Leicester. Aware of the importance of league tables, university vice chancellor Professor Robert Burgess pulled out all the stops to ensure that his institution did as well as it possibly could. The result has been positive. Leicester has shot up eight places, and students seem to appreciate the effort made. On student satisfaction, Leicester comes third, after St Andrews, which is in second place.

Another university to make a conscious effort to burnish its reputation is Exeter. Under its vice chancellor Professor Steve Smith, the university invested in new academic staff and new student facilities. The result is that it comes fifth for student satisfaction, and is now placed 17th in the main table.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
News
people
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Learning Support Assistants for students with PMLD

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...

SEN Teacher - Cerebral Palsy

£75 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education are looki...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Nursery Nurse - Melton Mowbray

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education are current...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments