Sussex drops down university rankings in “challenging environment”
The University dropped from 99th in 2012 to 110th in the 2013 listings published on 4 October this year.
The University of Sussex website said: “Sussex is ranked 13th in the UK, 34th in Europe and 110th in the world, setting us alongside some of the world’s most prestigious institutions.”
Sussex dropped several places in The Guardian, placing the university at number 27 in the UK, down 16 places from last year; The Times placed Sussex at 21, down 2 places.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, said: “The world of university education is increasingly competitive.
“This year has seen institutions in the Asia-Pacific region reaping the benefits of massive investment and challenging the traditional global elite.
“We’ve so far shown remarkable adaptability in this challenging environment – we’ve grown, innovated, and invested in our future. These rankings show that it’s vital we continue on this path.”
The university website said that nearly 90 per-cent of Sussex students were either satisfied or very satisfied with the teaching on their course.
Sussex is not alone as several UK universities have dropped in the international league tables; only 10 universities were named in the top 100 compared to 14 two years ago.
The National Student Survey (NSS) is given considerable weight when calculating a university’s score.
Recent library refurbishments and building work have been identified as potential reasons for temporary high results last year causing a higher percentage of students to respond positively.
Anna, a third year Drama student, voiced her belief that although the ratings were “obviously important” for the university, she didn’t think the fall in the league tables would affect her much.
Those already studying here may not feel the tremors, but there is concern that it may have an effect on prospective students deciding where to apply.
Despite this year’s slip, the university has risen nine places globally since 2011 according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
Dan, a third year Economics student said: “Well, maybe we didn’t get worse but other’s got better!”
Failure to achieve full time employment 6 months after graduating has also been cited as one of the reasons for the low scores.
A Media postgraduate commented that it may “only matter for the top ten or twenty – but being in the top 100 isn’t that significant”.
Brighton University achieved 64th (up nine places), in The Guardian’s rankings, placing Sussex’s nearby rival closer in the league tables than they have been since 2009.
Words Jonny Barton