Introduction to Universities Rankings
When it comes to choosing where you will continue your education, you will want to make sure you choose the best academic institutions that are available to you. Universities rankings are posted on a yearly basis and are assessed independently to ensure that you get the most out of your time while there. Among other newspapers, The Times, The Independent, and The Guardian all rank universities according to their academic excellence and the level of teaching that is offered there.
Before looking at universities rankings, you need to shortlist what it is that you want to study and where you want to be educated. Take some time to focus on the subject of your choice, and also the area of the country that you want to study in. If you are open to studying anywhere in the country, that will undoubtedly make looking through a universities rankings a lot easier, but if you are restricted to a certain area you will want to look at the rankings in that region.
After deciding what you want to study and where you wish to study it, you can begin looking for universities rankings. The majority of universities are ranked in general, s well as according to a particular subject area, so consider whether you want a university that ranks highly for everything or just those things that you want to study. If you are studying something specialist, such as Egyptology, it may be better to focus solely on what a university has to offer for that subject rather than how well it ranks in total. A university that is excellent overall may not be the right one for you if you are focusing on a specialist subject.
The next step in looking at universities rankings is assessing the grades that you are likely to get. Although it would be ideal to choose the best university that is over all, there is no point in applying to an institution that requires grades that are not well within your reach. Look at what your predicted or current grades are and then focus on which universities will allow you to study there with those grades. The majority of universities that rank well over all, and in particular subject areas, will want straight A grades. However, no matter what your grades are you are likely to find a university that is suited to you.
Now that you have narrowed your universities rankings down according to your grades, focus on how they rank for certain elements of your student experience. Not only are universities ranked according to the grades they produce with their graduates, they are also ranked according to the student experience they offer, among many other things. If something like a great student experience is important to you, make sure you narrow your choices down further according to that.
Finally, once your universities rankings are narrowed completely, try and compare the way different newspapers and independent bodies rank them. Many people have found in the past that while an institution is ranked well by a particular newspaper, it may not rank well elsewhere. Try to compare a variety of different university ranking systems, as that will give you a better idea as to which universities really are the best, and which ones are only considered to be the best by certain publications.
Tips for Looking at Universities Rankings
- Do your research into universities rankings online. By looking online rather than buying just one book or newspaper, you are more likely to find lots of results at once.
- Ask other students which publications they found to be the most accurate in the past. It is often the case that nothing beats previous experience when it comes to choosing a university ranking system.
- Talk to a careers advisor. It is natural for many students to feel overwhelmed by the system and as careers advisors are there for you as experts, they can help you get to grips with what each ranking means and how you can learn from them.
- Finally, always take your time. This is going to be one of the most important decisions in your life, so don't rush.
Sources and Citations
The Times Higher Education Guide
The Guardian University Guide
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