Welsh universities are on the rise, but still below par in the ranking metrics – TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk 2019 league tables #cug2019

Cardiff retains the title of the best
university in Wales

Stephanie Butler
25 April 2018

Seven out of eight Welsh universities have risen by one or more places in TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk 2019 rankings, published today (Wednesday 25 April 2018).

Cardiff University (33rd) remains the highest ranked university in Wales, this year rising four places. Second is Swansea University (39th), which due to rising five places, is Wales’ biggest climber in 2019. Cardiff Metropolitan University is down ten places to joint-77th – the only Welsh university to decline in the Main Table.

As a region, Wales languishes in the majority of the ten criteria used in TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk rankings, scoring below the national average. This includes Entry Standards, Research Intensity, Graduate Prospects, Student-Staff Ratio, Academic Services Spend, Student Facilities Spend and Degree Completion.

However, 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), Wales has achieved its best Good Honours to date (70.2%), but the region is again below the national average (74.4%).

Dr Bernard Kingston, Chairman of TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk, said: “The proportion of good honours has steadily but inexorably increased at almost all universities. Either students are working harder, or they are being better taught, or something else is happening. But it is one of the criteria over which universities have a significant degree of control.”

In separate listings covering 70 subjects, Cardiff features in 45 subject tables with places in the Top Ten for ten of them, coming joint-first in one (Occupational Therapy) with Yorkshire & the Humber’s University of Huddersfield (60th). Swansea appears in 37 subject tables with places in the Top Ten for seven of them, coming first in one (Complementary Medicine).

Bangor University appears in the Top Ten for six of the 31 subjects it teaches. Aberystwyth University appears in two subject table Top Tens, and Cardiff Metropolitan, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, and the University of South Wales all feature in one Top Ten apiece.

Dr Kingston observed: “With the inclusion of the University of Wolverhampton, we are pleased to be able to provide the first full ranking of all 131 eligible UK universities. It has been a long and, at times, difficult journey to reach this point, with debate about public interest and commercial sensitivity to the fore. But throughout, uppermost in our stance has been what’s best for university applicants and ultimately, for the universities themselves. The underlying data in our independent rankings are theirs and their appearance gives both the public at large and the universities an opportunity to compare and contrast in an open and flexible way.”

For the third year running, TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk has published a ranking of specialist arts, drama and music institutions, with 13 colleges and conservatoires. None is in Wales.

Simon Emmett, CEO of the Hotcourses Group said: “Since joining the Group three years ago, the Complete University Guide has lived up to its name and, with the return of Wolverhampton, has achieved its goal of publishing the first free-to-access complete rankings of all the UK universities. 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 Hotcourses and its parent company IDP. It complements the counselling and insight programmes and thousands of student reviews which, altogether, offer the biggest, busiest and unparalleled worldwide resources available on UK higher education institutions and their courses.”