Welsh universities below par in the ranking metrics, but perform well for student satisfaction – TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk 2020 league tables #cug2020

1 May 2019

Cardiff retains the title of the highest ranked
university in Wales

Over half of Welsh universities fall by three or more places in TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk 2020 rankings, published today (Wednesday 1 May 2019).

Cardiff (26th) and Swansea (=35th) remain the top two Welsh institutions, rising by seven and four places respectively. Wales’ biggest increase comes further down the table – the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David (102nd) climbs 13 positions. These three institutions, however, are the only Welsh universities to move up the main University League Table. 

Both Bangor (=83rd) and Cardiff Metropolitan (96th) register large declines of 21 and 19 places respectively. Aberystwyth (71st) and South Wales (113th) both fall six places, with Wrexham Glyndŵr (130th) falling three.

As a region, Wales has the lowest score in half of the ten criteria used in TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk rankings: Entry Standards, Graduate Prospects, Good Honours, Academic Services Spend and Degree Completion.

In a year where all universities throughout the UK have 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 score to date (72.5). This is again below the UK average (75.9), and Wales sits in last place for this measure.

A point of pride for Wales is its excellent Student Satisfaction score. Wales has overtaken the East Midlands as the region with the most satisfied students and Aberystwyth comes second in the UK, with Trinity Saint David rounding out the top ten. 

Nationally, Graduate Prospects continue to rise year-on-year, with the average score for the UK now at 75.5, up from 73.0 last year. As a region, Wales scores below average on 71.3. Three of the region’s eight universities do score over the average: Swansea (85.3), Cardiff (81.9) and Aberystwyth (77.7).

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, Cardiff features in 45 subject tables with places in the top ten for twelve of them, coming joint-first in Occupational Therapy with Southampton (20th). Swansea appears in 40 subject tables with places in the top ten for seven of them, coming first in one – Complementary Medicine.

Bangor appears in the top ten for three of the 32 subjects it teaches. Aberystwyth is in five subject table top tens, with Wrexham Glyndŵr and South Wales both featuring in one each. Neither Cardiff Metropolitan or Trinity Saint David appear in a subject top ten.

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 the institutions are in Wales.

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).