Bath re-enters the top ten as South West universities achieve the UK’s best Degree Completion score – TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk 2020 rankings #cug2020

1 May 2019

Bath University stays top of the
South West

Bath, ranked ninth, has strengthened its position as the South West’s leading university after making the top ten for the first time since 2015 in TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk 2020 University League Tables, published today (Wednesday 1 May 2019).

Bath replaces Warwick in the top ten, which has fallen to 12th. Exeter (11th), a former top ten university itself, goes up a single place, while Bristol (=16th) drops one, all maintaining positions in the top 20. 

Arts University Bournemouth (65th) and Falmouth (=77th) have both seen a reversal of fortunes this year. Last year, Falmouth fell 27 places while Arts University Bournemouth entered the top 50 with a 12-place rise. This year, Falmouth gains half of what it lost, increasing 13 positions to make it the region's most improved institution, while Arts University Bournemouth drops the most – by 16 places.

Plymouth Marjon (127th) and West of England, Bristol (55th) both rise three places. Bath Spa (=94th) is the only other university to gain ground with a jump of nine.

Other than Arts University Bournemouth and Bristol, three further universities in the region have dropped more than one place. Gloucestershire (99th) is the second biggest faller, losing 11 places. The Royal Agricultural University (123rd) and Bournemouth (70th) slip six and four places respectively, while Plymouth remains at =77th.

This year’s main University League Table shows the South West’s score for Degree Completion decreasing slightly, but it remains the top region for this measure, with an average score of 87.9 compared to the national average of 85.6.

In a year where the entire UK has seen a rise in the number of students graduating with Good Honours (either a first-class or upper second-class honours degree), the South West achieves its best Good Honours average to date (76.9), scoring above the national average (75.9).

Nationally, Graduate Prospects continue to rise year-on-year, with the average for the UK now 75.5, up from 73.0 last year. The South West scores 74.5, up from 72.9 last year. Six of the region’s 12 universities rank above the average, with Bath taking first place with 87.4.

Dr Bernard Kingston, Chairman of TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk, commented: “The evidence is clear; the increased emphasis, including funding, on employability and career planning within academic departments and student services is bearing fruit.

“Many institutions now have this as a core element of their strategic plans with the introduction of innovative programmes of subject-specific careers events focussed on embedding and signposting graduate destinations.

“This is being supported through increased links to alumni and outside professionals leading to higher-skilled work experience. Such developments have been strongly encouraged by prestigious annual awards from the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) and the Institute of Student Employers (ISE).”

In separate listings covering 70 subjects, Bath appears in the top ten for 18 of its 26 subjects and remains first of all regions in both Architecture and Marketing, while Exeter features in the top ten for 26 of the 37 subjects it teaches. This year, Bath is the South West’s only university to come first in any subject as Exeter loses its top spot in Sports Science.

Several other universities in the region lose top ten spots. Bristol suffers the most, appearing in 14 top tens, down from 21 last year. Additionally, West of England, Bristol features in the top ten for two subjects, down from five, with Plymouth going from four to three. Bournemouth drops to one top ten, while Gloucestershire gains one.

For the fourth year running, TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk has published a ranking of specialist arts, drama and music institutions, with 12 colleges and conservatoires. None of these institutions are in the South West.

Simon Emmett, CEO of IDP Connect, said: “These independent and unbiased league tables are used by almost a million applicants and their advisers monthly and are, as importantly, also well respected by the universities themselves for their accuracy and stability.

“The Guide is an essential element of the wide-ranging portfolio of information, advice and guidance available through IDP Connect.

“It complements the thousands of student reviews, chatbot technology and face-to-face counselling in over 30 countries which, altogether, offer the biggest, busiest and unparalleled worldwide resources available on UK higher education institutions and their courses.”

Fully online and free to access, TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk university rankings provide users with independent and trustworthy league and subject tables. Each of the Guide’s tables can be sorted by their individual measures, year, region and mission group (including unaffiliated universities).