The University of Manchester remains the second best institution in the North West despite slumping nationally due to student dissatisfaction, according to The Times new league ranking table.
Lancaster pipped The University of Manchester to the crown of the best university in the North West, according to The Times and The Sunday Times annual Good University Guide 2015.
Some of the worst performing in the region was The University of Salford and The University of Bolton, which both did not manage to make the top 100.
Despite retaining its standing in the North West, The University of Manchester fell two places to 28th in in the UK, which can be largely attributed to disappointing student satisfaction scores, which averaged 81.9%.
Alistair McCall, editor of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015, told MM: “Manchester University is a top 20 university no question but based on student satisfaction alone Manchester sits at a mid ranking 68th position.
“With the enforcement of charging £9,000 fees, students now demand more and expect more out of university.”
The only notable improvement in the results are that the graduate prospects score has significantly increased to 75.7%, which is a fundamental and important factor for those coming out of university in the current economic climate.
The Times rankings are incredibly influential and assist students as a first point of reference in determining their university of choice every single year, taking in to account a number of factors including dropout rates, degree classification results and student/staff ratios.
Mr McCall said: “Graduate prospects, student satisfaction, research and completion rate are the four factors of the eight I would say are most important.
“Are universities just about getting jobs? No but I think increasingly you need to focus on graduate prospects as the amount of graduates is expanding every year.”
There often remains an air of skepticism around university league tables and there validity due to the fact that there are numerous published each year and in many cases the results are conflicting to say the least.
Despite ranking 28th in the country, earlier in the week the QS World University rankings were published, placing Manchester University 30th in the world.
The rankings also placed Manchester University as 8th nationally, scoring 100% for employer reputation and 99.4% for academic reputation.
The QS World University rankings differ to those published by The Times and The Sunday Times as they do not take into account student satisfactions scores, which appear to be the university’s downfall.
Mr McCall said that ranking universities is a ‘very complicated picture’.
“In Manchester’s case there is a complete disconnect between global and domestic rankings due to the methodology of the tables,” he explained.
All ranking systems may have their faults but The Times Good University Guide, which has been published since 1993, is deemed the most comprehensive and established guide of them all.
The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide is to be published in full in a 56-page supplement this weekend and will also be available to access online.
Image courtesy of Mike Peel, with thanks.