University of Kent sees third consecutive drop in national league tables

Image courtesy of: Tahmid Morshed

The University of Kent has dropped a further 23 places in the Guardian University League Tables to 85th overall.

The newest league table results, in which the University has seen a third consecutive drop in standing, have garnered both condemnation and apathy from students and staff alike.

The head of media relations at the University of Kent, Gary Hughes, said: “Whilst there are bright spots for Kent in the Guardian league table, it is disappointing that overall, we have not maintained or improved our position.”

“We are currently analysing these results and will apply our findings to help us improve the activities which underline our overall mission and values.”

“The Guardian league table has a narrower focus and for this year seems to present much larger fluctuations in institutional rankings than previous years.”

The University has dropped 65 places in the past 3 years in the Guardian League table, from 16th in 2017.

Bram, a postgraduate student, said he was “quite worried” about the decline in the rankings.

“The strikes were always a big source for frustration – for students who are not receiving the teaching they are paying for and for staff that finds themselves in a position where strikes are necessary.

“Without such structural problems being addressed, the problems the University is coming across will always seep into the student experience.”

He added: “It pains me to say this, for I very much appreciate the friends I have made, the things I have learn, and the people who have taught me.

“I fear that UKC will keep dropping down the ranks for the next few years to come.”

A major aspect of the Guardian’s table’s this year was on graduate prospects, and greater weighting was put on University courses that gave students better job prospects immediately after graduation.

Do the league tables mean that much?

However, not all staff and students believe the league tables are as important as they seem.

Dr Triona Jane, A Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kent, said: “I don’t think students should be concerned about University rankings.

“Much of the way Universities are perceived internationally is related to elitism and prestige more than genuinely important information.

“We encourage our students to think critically, and they should take that same approach when considering marketing metrics like University Rankings.”

The University also saw a stable ranking in other league tables, such as the Complete University Guide’s tables, where Kent gained two places to 47th overall.

India Stiller, a final year Sociology student at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR), said: “I have no reason to believe there has been a decline in performance.

“I don’t relate to the attitude that Kent is declining, the SSPSSR is wonderful for me.”

She added: “There seems to be a profit-focused attitude at the top of the university, and students’ wellbeing coming as a second priority, if that. But that is not reflective of the teaching staff.”

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