2022 UK Medical School Rankings – How Accurate Is It?
This year, we’ve seen some surprising changes in the Medicine rankings on The Complete University Guide’s League Table. How accurate are league tables exactly? We explain how league tables work and more in this article.
Table of Contents
Latest UK University Rankings for Medicine
Here is The Complete University Guide’s league table for Medicine for 2021 and 2022.
|Rank||2021 Rankings||Rank||2022 Rankings|
|1||University of Dundee||1||Swansea University|
|1||University of Glasgow||2||University of Oxford|
|3||University of Oxford||3||University of Dundee|
|4||University of Aberdeen||4||University of Cambridge|
|5||University of Edinburgh||5||University of Edinburgh|
|6||Queen Mary, University of London||6||University of Glasgow|
|7||University of Cambridge||7||University of Aberdeen|
|8||University of St Andrews||8||Queen Mary University of London|
|9||Imperial College London||9||Keele University|
|10||Swansea University||10||University of Exeter|
|11||University College London||11||Imperial College London|
|12||University of Bristol||12||University of St Andrews|
|13||Newcastle University||13||Lancaster University|
|14||Queen's University Belfast||14||University of Bristol|
|15||Keele University||15||Cardiff University|
|16||University of Exeter||16||Brighton & Sussex|
|17||University of Warwick||17||Newcastle University|
|18||Cardiff University||18||King's College London, University of London|
|19||Brighton & Sussex||19||University of Manchester|
|20||University of Sheffield||20||UCL (University College London)|
The Complete University Guide League Table Explained
We’ve compared The Complete University Guide’s 2021 league table for Medicine with the latest 2022 league table. What we found is that Swansea jumped up nine positions from 10th place to 1st place, beating Oxford, Cambridge, and the Scottish universities. Additionally, Keele University went up six spots, climbing its way into the top ten UK medical universities for 2022. UCL went from 11th place in 2021 to 20th place in 2022.
With such drastic changes in the position of long-established universities for Medicine, it got us wondering what could have caused these changes in the 2022 league table. We looked into The Complete University Guide’s methodology for putting the league table together and we’ve found a few things.
1. Subjective indicators
It is important to note that some key indicators of university performance are based on subjective factors, although league tables generally try their best to keep things as objective as possible.
One of such key indicators is Student Satisfaction, which is based on the National Student Survey conducted every year. This is a measure of subjective opinion, rather than a measure of quality and so it may change greatly from year to year and it could be influenced by external factors such as student bias about the university.
Another key indicator that may not be as objective as we think is the Entry Standards. Entry Standards are calculated based on the UCAS Tariff score of new students. As the Complete University Guide has pointed out, the Entry Standards indicator for universities with more international students may skew the results lower as some international qualifications are not included in the UCAS Tariff.
The Complete University Guide’s League Table is measured based on ten indicators and each indicator has a different weightage in the calculation process.
The indicator with the strongest weightage is the Student Satisfaction score at 1.5 weightage, followed by Entry Standards, Research Quality, Student-Staff Ratio, and Degree Completion with an equal weightage of 1.
Most of these indicators are unlikely to change drastically from year to year, such as the Student-Staff Ratio and Degree Completion. However, the indicator with the strongest weightage, Student Satisfaction, is a subjective indicator that can change greatly depending on how the students decide to fill in the survey in that year.
Comparing Swansea’s performance in the league tables last year and this year, the university’s indicators largely remained the same, except Student Satisfaction which jumped from a score of 3.71 to 4.23 (out of five) in 2022. As a result, Swansea jumped from 10th to first place this year.
Therefore, we speculate that The Complete University Guide’s rankings may be susceptible to change based on how the Student Satisfaction survey has been filled out that year.
3. Missing information
To The Complete University Guide’s credit, most of its methodology is transparent and it is quite clear how the information is obtained and how the league table is calculated. What we found, however, is that there are instances where universities that are missing certain information may be ranked higher than other universities that have published the same information, giving an advantage to the first university.
Some universities may choose not to publish certain information or it may have been released after the league table was published in June. To some extent, it is normal to have missing information in league tables which is a huge trove of information.
That being said, we wonder how the Complete University Guide’s League Tables deal with such missing information. In the 2022 Medicine league table, Oxford is missing information on its Student Satisfaction indicator while Swansea is missing information on its Entry Standards. Despite this, the universities are ranked second and first respectively.
We speculate that universities that did publish all information are slightly disadvantaged in the calculation process compared to universities that withheld some information.
Overall, what could explain the major changes to the Complete University Guide’s 2022 league table for Medicine this year is down to potentially missing information in the calculations, indicators being subjective, and the weightage of certain indicators.
League tables may not be as objective as they try to be because Student Satisfaction is usually a key component to how the league tables are calculated. This indicator is susceptible to student bias and other external factors that can affect how universities are ranked.
Based on the information we have gathered, our speculation is that Swansea’s leap in Student Satisfaction scores in 2022 is what caused the university to jump to the number one position this year. Additionally, the missing information in the calculation of the 2022 Medicine league table may have played a significant role in this jump as well.
Get Free UK Medical School Application Assistance
If you would like a free consultation on any step of the application process, contact us today or come visit us at our office in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Book an appointment with us now!