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Rankings most influential on top-student choice

This recent study carried out by the Knowledge Partnership, an education consultancy, delves into the vast web of ‘league tables’ (university rankings) that have evolved from education promotional circles and profit seekers. They find that league tables are a growing industry that has a strong influence on student choice. Their conclusions include the following:
  • Asians, males, young school leavers, those from high income backgrounds, and high achievers are most likely to consider rankings;
  • the proportion of applicants using ranking sources is increasing in line with the diversification of higher education;
  • it is not true to assume that rankings are more utilised by international students seeking to study in a different country;
  • reputation is the key factor in determining where top students go to study;
  • the is a positive correlation between league table rankings and relative admissions quality of students.
This research was based in the UK and uses the experiences of 13,000 students who indicated they looked at rankings before applying. It substantiates many logical assumptions about rankings lists and provides interesting statistics on student quality and rank position over time. Knowledge Partnership report