The Times & Sunday Times has released the highly anticipated Good University Guide for 2024, with national rankings, and each region being ranked too.
The university of the year for 2024 is University College London, whilst for the Midlands, University of Warwick came out on top and is ranked in ninth place nationally.
The list is the definitive guide to the country’s universities, which ranks them based on various factors, including graduate employment and teaching quality.
The University of Wolverhampton was listed in 118th place out of 131 nationally, and is ranked 17th overall in the Midlands, whilst the University of Birmingham was third highest in the Midlands and 22nd overall.
Professor John Raftery, Interim Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “League tables are one of the many ways universities are measured and compared and there are differences between each league table in terms of what metrics it uses.
“Whilst it’s pleasing to see us move nine places up this year’s Sunday Times table, we know a continued focus on ensuring our students are fully supported and helped to successfully complete their degrees will see us continue to improve our position.
“As a civic University we have a hugely positive impact on people’s lives through education as well as our continued contribution to shaping and regenerating the regional economy.
“Background is no barrier at Wolverhampton - we help our students reach their full potential as reflected in the Daily Mail’s league table last week with our number one ranking in the UK for teaching first generation students.”
Staffordshire University is ranked 93rd nationally and 14th in the region. A spokesperson from Staffordshire University said: "We are very pleased to have improved our overall position in the Good University Guide and will be closely examining our performance when the tables are published in full.
"Last week we saw our overall ranking improve in the Guardian University Guide and nine of our subject areas were ranked in the Top 10 which reflects excellence in learning and teaching and student experience across the University’s diverse portfolio.
“Choosing the right courses at the right University is one of the most important decisions a person can make and while it is possible for prospective students to do most of their research online, we always encourage students and their families to get a real feel for a university by attending an Open Day.”
The full list of Midlands Universities is as follows:
Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, said: “This Times and Sunday Times ranking builds on other excellent results achieved by Aston University in nationally and internationally recognised rankings recently, including being named among the top 25 institutions in the UK in the 2024 Guardian University Guide and improving by more than 100 places in the recent 2024 QS World University Rankings.
"The ranking demonstrates the commitment of our staff to deliver an exceptional teaching and learning environment for our students.
“Our position of 38th in the country represents an improvement of seven places compared to last year. We will continue to build on this success to ensure our students are ready for work and life, in line with the new Aston 2030 Strategy.”
The research found that what students study and where matters more than every in today's society when it comes to future earnings.
The top degree is computer studies at Imperial College where the average salary within 15 months of graduating is £64,000, and in second place, business, management and marketing from Oxford where graduates can expect to take home £58,000.
Whereas students who finish drama, dance and cinematics at the University of Central Lancashire will be earning an average salary of £18,000 within 18 months of leaving university.
Applications to study computer science including AI, video games design and robotics were almost 10 per cent higher than last year, according to analysis of Ucas data, and 31 per cent higher than in 2019. There is a welcome rise in joint honours and interdisciplinary work to collaborate on solving the world’s future problems from climate change to health.
Helen Davies, editor of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “The higher education landscape has never been tougher. It is more competitive to get a place at many of our top institutions; the cost of attending university has soared, leaving graduates with extraordinary debt; and in many cases campus life still bears the scars of the pandemic. Meanwhile lecturers are on strike and the marking crisis is a running scandal.
“It means any prospective student, parent or carer needs to think hard about whether university is the right choice, and then where to study and what subject. It’s where this guide — our 30th edition — is here to help. Our online version has so much more on how the universities compare subject by subject, a guide on campus life, and what scholarships and bursaries may be on offer.
“We are here to champion the ambitious work of our first-class universities, and the aspirations of any student of any age who wants to keep on learning.”
The full list released by The Times & The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 can be found here: thetimes.co.uk/uk-university-rankings