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17th October 2019

A year older and wiser? UoM in the University League Tables 2020

University league tables for 2020 show UoM performing well for research and international outlook, but falling behind on student satisfaction
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A year older and wiser? UoM in the University League Tables 2020
Photo: Mike Peel@ Wikimedia Commons

The University of Manchester has been ranked the 8th, 15th and 40th best university in the UK for 2020, as reported by The Times, The Complete University Guide and The Guardian, respectively. 

In the year to 2020, The Times ranked the University at 8th in the UK. The Complete University Guide saw UoM advance from 18th to 15th best university in the UK, and ranked Manchester in the top ten for 19 subjects, including Drama, Nursing and Physics.

On the other hand, The Guardian’s 2020 league table suggested UoM was the 40th best UK university overall, which saw it fall from 34th place in the table since 2019. This places the University a whole 32 places below The Times’ ranking.

The various methodologies adopted by each table can help account for these differences. The Guardian emphasises factors that contribute to student experience more – satisfaction with teaching, feedback, and the course accounted for 25% of a university’s overall score. In contrast, The Complete University Guide lent just under a 17% weight to similar student satisfaction measures.

The Times and The Complete University Guide both consider research quality in their measures, whereas The Guardian does not. This could explain why the University of Manchester, a research-intensive university, fared better in the former two’s tables. UoM also ranked highly in terms of spending per student, with The Guardian and The Times ranking it 7th and 8th in this category, respectively.

Further afield, The Times ranked the University 55th in the world, up from 57th in 2019. This league considers ‘International outlook’ in its calculations, and UoM welcomes one of the biggest international student populations to the UK every year.

When asked whether these tables influenced their university application, second-year Computer Science and Maths student, Calvin Zhang, commented: “While the ranking impacted my choice, the main factor was that the University offered a course I liked.”


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