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Thursday, 7 April 2016

MORE UNIVERSITY RANKINGS


Last week, I posted university rankings as published by the Guardian newspaper. Today, you can see how universities are ranked by The Times Higher Educational Supplement.

This one is older than the one in the Guardian and better known. A comment was made on my blog after last week's post that students and their parents may not know which ranking to choose. They often seem contradictory, or at least very different from one another.

My response to that query was that these rankings are just another tool in helping young people decide which university best suits their needs and aspirations. There are strengths and weaknesses in each of them. This one today is probably the more well-respected internationally, but, frankly, none of the guides has a monopoly on truth. My strong advice is to study them both and make your choices based on all kinds of disparate factors, not least of which (for parents, especially) is cost.

Last week, I pointed out that the Guardian guide is useful for checking out universities by course. It is also useful in seeing which institutions students themselves prefer, as well as the employability statistics of students six months after they graduate. The drawback to all of this is that it is very UK-orientated. The student preferences are more likely to be as a result of data submitted by British students, while the employability rating will refer to jobs in the UK. Such statistics are likely to be of less value to Malaysian students who will most likely be seeking a career at home after graduation.

Often parent and student visitors to my office ask about how well a given UK university is regarded in Malaysia or regionally in S.E. Asia. The better guide to help answer this question is the THES ranking, to which I am alerting you today. It is far less British-focused and has a more international look and feel. You will also see there is a drop down menu showing university rankings in Asia, which may be of interest to students who are less willing to travel far afield.

I can only conclude by repeating that these guides can be of limited help to you in your decision making. Please remember that Pn. Kas's office will be more than happy to assist in more detail, as indeed will I.

For now, take some time to browse what's on offer to aspiring undergraduates, both in Britain and elsewhere in the world.


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