University of Portsmouth blames dramatic fall in Guardian league table on change to graduate outcomes survey

THE University of Portsmouth has suffered a dramatic fall in the Guardian’s latest higher education rankings.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 9:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 2:22 pm
The University of Portsmouth has seen a dramatic fall in its rankings in the latest Guardian league table. Picture: Google Street Maps

In recent years the university has seen an upward trend in its national rankings for education and student provision but this year’s Guardian’s Best University League Table has seen it plummet from 21st position last year to 66th place for 2020 to 2021.

The table ranks universities based on criteria including student satisfaction with their courses and quality of teaching, student-to-staff teaching ratios and the percentage of students continuing into their second year.

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However, it’s a change to the criteria by which career and graduate outcomes are judged which the University of Portsmouth’s vice-chancellor, Professor Paul Hayes, believes is behind the university’s dramatic fall.

Professor Hayes said: ‘The university is aware the metrics in how the Guardian chose to rank universities have changed this year. Our decline is mainly due to the adoption of the new Graduate Outcomes Survey, which is quite different to the former Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey which we previously scored highly in.’

The vice-chancellor was keen to highlight other recent surveys and awards which have demonstrated the university’s progress.

Professor Hayes added: ‘The University of Portsmouth has gone from strength to strength over the past decade across a wide range of quality indicators, including excellence in teaching, internationally recognised research and innovation, and graduate job prospects. It's disappointing this is not reflected in the latest Guardian league table.

‘Portsmouth students are among the most satisfied in the UK with their university experience, according to the annual National Student Survey (NSS) published in July. The University of Portsmouth is ranked 28th of all universities in the UK for overall full-time student satisfaction - and second in the south east.

‘We’re proud to be ranked among the best modern universities in highly trusted guides in both the UK and internationally.’

The University of Chichester benefited from the new criteria with a ranking of 29th compared to 73rd last year.

The region’s other universities maintained similar positions with Southampton ranked 23rd, up one place from the previous year, while Solent University ranked 74th compared to the previous year’s 73rd position.

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