Friday, October 23, 2015

Even the Spectator reads the THE rankings

The influence of the global rankings, especially the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings,  appears to have no limits.

An article by Harry Mount  in the Spectator describes the changing educational background of the leaders of the Labour Party. The top ranks used to be filled by graduates of Oxford (Denis Healey, Harold Wilson, Tony Blair, the Milibands, Ed Balls), Cambridge (Tristram Hunt) and Edinburgh (Gordon Brown).

Now they have been replaced by the alumni of Brunel and Birkbeck (John McDonnell), Sussex (Hilary Benn and Owen Smith,  Nottingham (Michael Dugher ),  Westminster (Gloria De Piero) and Hull (Tom Watson and Rosie Winterton) . Jeremy Corbyn lasted a year at  the Polytechnic of North London now London Metropolitan University.

Mount observes that Oxford was second in the latest edition of the THE world rankings, Hull 401st and London Metropolitan unranked.

It is only fair to point out that participation in the THE rankings is voluntary so maybe London Metropolitan could have been ranked if they had bothered to send in the data.

Not everyone is impressed by the THE rankings. "Tony Dark" comments

"Amusing to note the reference to the Times Higher Education world ranking: this allegedly authoritative table is produced by a handful of hacks, and their hired statisticians, from a journal so insignificant that hardly anyone even in universities reads it. The other allegedly authoritative table, emanating from an organisation called QS, is largely driven by another clique of journos who split from the Times Higher . And the heads of multi million pound universities quail before the wondrous listings generated by these miniscule cabals. A mad world, my masters."

No comments: