The UK is the global hotspot for higher education globally and every year there is a rise in the number of applicants aspiring to pursue their higher education in the UK.
Home to some of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, students are often spoiled for choice. While several factors like eligibility criteria, university fees, living expenses, availability of a specific course are taken into consideration while selecting a university, the role of university rankings is highly influential too!
Each year, several prestigious university guides like Times Higher Education, The Complete University Guide, The Guardian publish university rankings. The rankings are published after extensive surveys and includes parameters like student’s satisfaction in terms of teaching, facilities etc., research quality, employability prospects amongst others. These guides definitely help students to make an informed decision.
The social rewards of being a graduate is immense. Holding a graduate degree, irrespective of the rankings of the university from which it was acquired, adds up to both the professional CV and personal confidence. For many students, getting a UK degree is what matters the most, even if they do not make it to the top ranked. Not just students, a UK degree is a collective dream harbored by several parents and hence the rankings of the university, at times, becomes inconsequential.
The university experience, irrespective of where the university is ranked in the latest editions, hardly vary. Students get the opportunity to experience true multiculturism, get exposure to UK’s cosmopolitan culture and employment opportunities. University rankings barely alters the total student experience.
However, simply enrolling in one of the top-ranking universities barely guarantees academic or professional success, although there is no denying that it can be a huge contributor. Research by several prestigious organizations suggest that, irrespective of the ranking of the university passed from, graduates are likely to earn far more and are much less likely to be unemployed, compared to their non-graduate counterparts. In an ever-changing job market, a graduate degree is much more likely to open up stable employment avenues.
The curriculum of a Mathematics degree or an Economics degree from a very highly ranked university, a moderately ranked university or a university with modest rankings are going to be the same. It is the academic team, scope for practical learning and state of the art facilities that might bring about a change in the overall student experience. Top ranking universities secures top spots primarily for these parameters.
A graduate from a numero uno university might initially earn more or secure a more lucrative job compared to his graduate counterpart from a moderately ranked university but can barely be used to predict future success.
It is not enough to simply secure a place in a highly ranked institution. Even amongst these much coveted universities, selection of courses.