University League Tables


Scores and league tables are the spirit of the age: we have seen them for schools and hospitals, and league tables for universities were inevitable. Perhaps equally inevitably they would reveal depths of innumeracy unsuspected by a working scientist, let alone a trained statistician. The Financial Times produced a league table on 29 April 1998, the Times on 15 May 1998, the Daily Telegraph one on 29 July 1998 and the Sunday Times had a league table in its University Guide (aimed at prospective students) on 8 November 1998. Last summer Research Fortnight produced a table mainly based on research funding. All of these tables place Cambridge at the top and have been accompanied by critical (if not always accurate) headlines and comment, for example ‘Cracks open in ivory towers.’ ‘Cambridge may sit at the apex but the FT’s rankings, report . . . , suggest that Oxbridge supremacy belongs to times past.’ ‘Dreaming spires forced to wake up to reality.’ ‘Oxford forced to settle for a third.’ ‘Cambridge and York top for teaching. The 1960s universities are setting standards that rival the league leaders.’

4 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Ripley2003UniversityLT, title={University League Tables}, author={Brian D. Ripley}, year={2003} }