How to Recognise the Good and Bad Universities

Good and Bad UniversitiesWhen you want to take on a University student, how do you chose? Is is trial and error to divide the good and bad Universities?

Which Universities are better for smaller companies? Is it best to simply use the local University and if not, how is it possible to differentiate?

When I first started dealing with Universities I had the same questions. Questions that I find my clients regularly raise with me.

Sir Patrick Stewart, chancellor of the University of Huddersfield has discussed the same subject, featured in an article by Chris Parr: Do you judge people on where they went to University?

I like to deal with Universities who have a strong emphasis on employability. Ones who take the importance of dealing with smaller businesses seriously.

To judge good and bad Universities in Yorkshire, I use the University tables which grade Universities out of 5 for student satisfaction, research assessment, entry standards & graduate prospects.

Student Satisfaction

High satisfaction levels suggests a well run University with good teaching

For me, this is the most important factor. It’s equivalent to customer satisfaction for a business. A University with a high satisfaction level is doing something right in the students’ eyes. High satisfaction levels suggests a well run University with good teaching, both of which are important when choosing which University to deal with.

Many Universities I’ve visited seem to have brought in a new Vice Chancellor as a catalyst for change. One year on from the appointment of Vice Chancellor, Brian Cantor and I can see a lot of positive changes occurring at the University of Bradford, who I work with in partnership.

THE University of the year

To see the full benefits may take a few years more. Bob Cryan took over at the University of Huddersfield in 2007 and they are now Times Higher Education University of the Year.

Research Assessment

My suspicion of Universities with a strong research grade, and funded by companies to do that research, is that their priorities lie in research ahead of getting their students into jobs. They are also in general the top Universities, who have more success in placing students with larger companies. In Yorkshire, the top research Universities are Leeds, Sheffield & York.

If as a smaller company you do need to tap into their research to provide support for innovation or research and development, then its important to investigate which areas of research each University is strong on. For example, Sheffield is known as a leader in cancer research.

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