In the wake of The Guardian's recently published University Guide, many are starting to notice how Welsh universities are failing to make their mark in an increasingly competitive market.
Whilst many institutions across the UK have reacted very publicly to the guide, Welsh representation has been conspicuous by its absence. These figures may explain why:
- Firstly, only three of Wales' eight universities improved their overall standing.
- Half failed to break into the top 100.
- Of the 119 British institutions considered, Glyndwr was ranked 103rd; Aberystwyth 110th; South Wales 113th; and Trinity Saint David came 117th.
- Cardiff University performed the best, but dropped down a place to 27th.
Rankings are a competitive business and in an increasingly globalised market, their influence is growing, as many students and academics will use university rankings as their first port of call.
Gareth Evans, Education Editor for Wales Online, has argued that "if we're not already concerned we really should be." He explained how improving the reputation of Welsh higher education is "crucial to a thriving knowledge base and buoyant economy, and amid spiralling fees, universities must prove their worth."
He even described "university rankings as one game of snakes and ladders that really do matter and we must strive to get ahead."