Northampton University jumps 26 places in Sunday Times guide ranking

University Of Northampton
University Of Northampton

The University of Northampton has been ranked 14th in the midlands and 82nd in the country in the latest Sunday Times University Guide.

The guide ranks universities based on student satisfaction, teaching quality and other factors measured in the National Student Survey, while a double weighting is given to measures of graduate employability.

Northampton University has improved on its national ranking which last year was 108th.

The university has a graduate unemployment rate of 4.4 per cent while the proportion of students going straight into graduate level jobs is 66.3 per cent. Students gave the university a teaching excellence rate of 80 oer cent.

Warwick continues to lead the field among midlands’ universities, with students commanding salaries of £24,490 a year in their first job – a rate bettered by just six other universities and the highest outside of Oxbridge and London.

Alastair McCall, editor of The Sunday Times University Guide, said: “Our league table rewards those universities which have placed great focus on providing top quality teaching, with prompt and useful feedback on students’ work and assessment.

“With most institutions now charging £9,000 a year for tuition, students have every right to expect this as a given.

“If a university provides a great student experience, can offer good graduate job prospects, plus a strong track record for degree completion and outcomes, good rankings and students will follow.”

The 64-page guide, now in its 15th year, is published this Sunday, September 30, with The Sunday Times.

Changes to the methodology of the league table last year have placed greater emphasis on student satisfaction with teaching quality, academic support, assessment and feedback, as measured through the 2012 National Student Survey. Rather than analyse the outcomes to all 22 questions in the NSS, The Sunday Times this year focussed on the 12 questions most directly related to teaching.

Overall satisfaction with courses was considered separately and measured against a benchmark showing the level of satisfaction expected by the Higher Education Funding Council at a given institution given its subject and student mix.

A double weighting is also given to measures of graduate employability. The Sunday Times considered both the overall level of graduate unemployment six months after leaving university and the proportion of students going straight into graduate-level jobs

Other measures on which universities are ranked include:

Entry standards – the total number of Ucas points held by students enrolling for courses in 2010-11

Research – an examination of the outcomes of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, rewarding both quality and quantity of research undertaken.

Firsts/2:1s – the proportion of top quality degrees awarded in 2010-11

Dropout rate – the proportion of students neither completing a year nor transferring to another institution in 2009-10 measured against the benchmark for the institution taking account of the subject and student mix.