The Guardian has released its University Guide 2024

Available here:

I’ve mentioned in prior posts I personally particularly value being able to look up a specific course, and then looking at the average entry tariff and value added.

Average entry tariff is coming from the UCAS point system (UCAS is basically their version of Common App), which is far more standardized than anything comparable in the US. This column is therefore a pretty good measure of relative selectivity by course–except as to Oxford and Cambridge specifically, where the interview is very important and their average entry tariff may somewhat understate their selectivity in a course as a result.

Value added then compares exiting degree grades–First-Class Honours, Upper Second, Lower Second, Third, Fail–to average entry tariffs to determine a value added on a 10 point scale. Those exiting degree grades are also far more standardized than in the US, so combined with the far more standardized entry tariffs this is a far better educational-value-added measure than anything possible in the US. Again, a caveat is necessary for when Oxford or Cambridge has a really high entry tariff–that is likely making it virtually impossible to get a high relative value added in such cases, so you should take meh value added scores in such cases with a grain of salt.

What - #6 Bath is higher than the WSJs #15 Florida.

The Horror :slight_smile:

Too bad there isn’t a US News Britain edition - so we can all chuckle over whatever disparities there are.

How is it possible for the London School of Economics to not be #1 in Economics? It’s sixth???

Dad jokes aside, I love the ability to sort ranking by major.

That is really solid branding, to be sure.

I understand you were joking, but for the record . . . if you poke around, LSE does not have the best reputation for undergraduate teaching. Lots of complaints about large classes and disinterested teachers and such.

It is obviously still fine as a credential. But you can see some possible hints of that issue in the survey results, student to staff ratio, and percentage of first-years who continue.

Does that then help explain why their average entry tariff is not at the top? Oxbridge is understandable, but why is St Andrews higher too? Well, St Andrews has become more popular, and therefore more selective, for a host of reasons. But in this case, while it has the same career score as LSE, it has better survey results, a lower student to staff ratio, and a higher continuation percentage.

So . . . maybe that is something.


Much wailing, tearing of hair, gnashing of teeth, and rending of garments is happening now at Oxbridge. St Andrews, the upstart, the newcomer, the university which is so far lower on the QS and all other rankings has beaten them!

They must mobilize their alumni who hold almost every position of power and influence in the UK, and put a stop to this! Unless this is nipped in the bud, they could wake up one day and they would be outranked by a CIVIC university, and then the world will end!

Pro-tip: if you find a good opportunity to describe St Andrews as the Princeton of the UK, you can make a whole bunch of different loyal communities mad at you for different reasons.

My two cents is maybe Dartmouth is a little more on track (also not usually a darling of research university rankings).

Interesting majors as well. I have not seen ‘midwifery’ offered elsewhere …

My son will be glad to see that his MMathCompSci from Oxford is still #1.