The Guardian’s 2021 Philosophy Rankings


The Guardian has released the 2021 edition of its “Best UK Universities” list, which includes discipline-specific rankings.

The rankings are aimed mainly at undergraduate students, and based on each university’s “Guardian Score,” a combination of factors including final-year student evaluations of the course of study and the teachers, the staff-to-student ratio, the money spent on each student, the academic profile of the average entrants to the programs of study, an assessment of how much students learn in the program, the extent to which graduates of the programs are employed or are pursuing graduate degrees, and the extent to which first-year students continue to study the subject in their second year.

Here are The Guardian’s rankings for philosophy:

You can explore The Guardian rankings here.

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Fifth root of Unity
Fifth root of Unity
7 months ago

Even if I am to believe that the methodology and data-collection is perfect in every sense (I can’t see the methodology as, for me, it is behind a paywall), a few curiosities stick out to me: a) UWE Bristol, which (as has been noted on this blog) is eliminating the Philosophy department, is ranked eighth with student satisfaction score of 100 (highest) and value added score of 9 out of 10 (the second highest); b) Lots of incomplete data (particularly in the case of Oxbridge); and c) Oxford outperforms St And on all parameters on which both are scored, but still ends up below St And. Report

RJM
RJM
Reply to  Fifth root of Unity
7 months ago

I have no idea about the methodology, but the placing of UWE Bristol in this and other tables is one reason why there has so much condemnation of the decision.Report

PrinceGoGo
PrinceGoGo
7 months ago

This is bad, wrong and stupid – obviously – but two things in particular seem noteworthy:

1) The number of ‘n/a’s amongst the top group raise questions about the methodology – how would a department that collected no data about satisfaction, career or continuation, but set an extremely high entry tariff rate? Presumably very highly.

2) “value added” should be renamed “grade inflation”. Anyone who has worked in more UK institution knows that marks / classification awarded varies enormously across institutions, and some universities put an enormous pressure on staff to award more ‘high quality degrees’ (read: give out higher marks). I suspect that Essex and Hertfordshire suffer from sticking to the standards that existed before the 2012 fees hike, and have admirably resisted giving in to grade inflation.Report

Thomas
Thomas
7 months ago

The fun thing about the Guardian rankings is that it’s pretty much all done from the students perspective. So as long as the students think they’re getting a good deal—so long as they’re “satisfied,” so long as they get a top grade, etc.— then the department is golden. Doesn’t much matter whether they actually learn anything whatsoever, so long as they think they are. It’s a great system. Report