Tuesday, 30 September 2008

UK's best Universities

A post inspired in part by Chris Keene's post at http://www.nostuff.org/words/2008/top-20-uk-universities/

Chris asks 'What are the top 20 Universities in the UK?'. (via Twitter)

Reading the comments is interesting, and I considered my answer, albeit briefly, before posting. You will notice that many of my top 20 are not Russell Group, not traditional red brick Uni's, but ex-poly's, mostly post 92.

My thinking around this was that I could only really comment on those Uni's that I'd had an interaction with professionally, either in my current role as Information Resources Manager, or in previous roles (LMS Project Manager, Learning Technologist). I don't really watch the league tables, as it is likely that our place will move up slightly but will never hit the top 10.

If I had answered with the Oxford's and Cambridge's of this world, I'd have been talking about perception, a wider perception than my own. The comment may come across as pretentious, or as a stand for the underdogs but it isn't intended to be either. And, it is such a broad question that I felt it would be useful to focus the attention - best for what?

On another point entirely, I'm meeting with Linda Rush tomorrow to discuss our new READ project, loosely based on something that UWE have been doing over the past few years. I'm really looking forward to this, and assisting in delivering a couple of professional development sessions for academic colleagues over the next couple of months.

Part of the initial discussion will be around the definition of academic reading, how we put reading lists together and what we mean by essential, desirable etc. The expectations of students and staff are key in understanding this, however are very rarely discussed at any level of study.

I'll keep you informed on progress!

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    I agree with your point about interaction. I have just written a follow-up post looking at the ranking tables produces by national newspapers and others, and how the results compare with my own expectations.

    There were Universities I missed out, for no good reason than I have not interacted with them. Durham and St Andrews are two examples.

    I'm also guilty of when trying to thinking of Universities (e.g. if I decide to visit a few random library webpages) I tend to picture a geographically map of the UK and pick at locations (the south west... ahh I've check out Bristol's website). I went to Queen Mary's library website the other day and liked a couple of things about their SFX/Metalib, but hadn't visited them in the past for this very reason... there isn't a town called 'Queen Marys'!

    Sticking with geography, it is still true, even in this inter-connected world, that we tend to know more about local institutions.

    Finally, maybe there is a point in that we only know what others are doing by word of mouth, perhaps there needs to be some place we can all keep each other up to date with our adventures with web2.0/library2.0 and general web technologies.