What are you looking for?

Which university?

Which university?

 "Which is is the best university, Mr Judd?"

With more than 90 percent of Taunton’s students choosing to study at university, this time of year sees my diary full with Year 13s discussing university courses. So how do you decide which university is best? Last weekend saw Lancaster University named university of the year in The Times newspaper Good University Guide 2018. St Andrews was named best for student experience, Buckingham was rated highest for teaching quality and St George’s London top for professional employment, even though none of these are Russell Group universities. League tables traditionally have compared entrance requirements, student satisfaction, published academic research and employability to generate their lists. The Russell Group universities have often emphasised their research credentials as a major recruitment strategy and yet very few of the 24 Russell Group universities make it into The Times top 25 universities for teaching quality with LSE coming last in 120th place. However, when comparing professional employment rates 16 Russell Group universities are in the top 25 with LSE placed fourth best.

Other factors which need to be considered include accommodation options, the cost of living in a particular city, opportunities for work placements, distance from friends and family, support in finding employment post university and extracurricular opportunities. Finally one important factor often not considered is the structure and style of the course; how is the course assessed? Some students perform well in exams, and others excel in presentations and problem based learning.

It is important to find the university and course most suited to your son or daughter’s learning style, personality and academic profile. One size certainly does not fit all.

Richard Judd
Head of Careers