University falls in annual ranks

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THE University of Northampton has fallen 23 places in the Guardian’s latest annual universities guide.

The town’s higher education institution was ranked 86th out of 120 universities in the 2012 universities league table, which looks at performance by focusing on student-based measures such as spend per student, undergraduate-teaching ratio and career prospects.

According to the table published in the national newspaper, the split-site university was given an overall “excellence” rating of 48.2 points out of 100, a drop of 6.3 points.

It also showed the institution had been knocked off the number one spot by the University of Hertfordshire under the “value-added” ranking, after being ranked 15th in the UK this year and receiving a score of 6.9 out of 10, a fall of 1.6 points.

Other measurements revealed that four-fifths of final year undergraduates were satisfied with the overall quality of the course, a two per cent decline on 2011. This is based on feedback from the National Student Survey (NSS).

Meanwhile scores for teaching quality and feedback and assessment by lecturers, based on responses by final-year students via the NSS have remained the same with about 70 to 84 per cent satisfaction rating.

Vice-chancellor Professor Nick Petford said despite the Guardian’s ratings for the institution, the university had made huge gains under a Times Higher Education survey.

He said: “Last month we climbed 23 places in the annual THE (Times Higher Education) Student Experience Survey and we are still above our position in the 2010 Guardian Guide.

“We always look to provide our students with the best possible experience and this will be enhanced further by our multi-million pound investment in the new town centre halls of residence.”