Boss dismisses league tables after University of Bolton ranked among bottom three in country

The Bolton News: Prof Rob Campbell Prof Rob Campbell

LEAGUE tables do not always provide a true reflection of the “strengths and weaknesses” of a university, the deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bolton has said after it was ranked among the bottom three in the country.

The University of Bolton was placed 121st — the same as last year — out of 123 institutions in the annual Complete University Guide.

The table ranks universities on nine areas — student satisfaction, research, entry standards, student to staff ratios, spending in academic services, spending facilities, the number of good honours degrees achieved, graduate prospects and completion rates.

But the university said it was focused on ensuring its students were ready to go into work after graduating.

Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Rob Campbell said: “As a university, we are constantly looking to improve ourselves and enhance our reputation, but of paramount importance to our institution is making sure our students are ready for employment when they graduate.

“The university is continually working towards employment outcomes for our students by investing in new on-campus, profession-focused degree courses and facilities.

"Working examples are our Centre for Advanced Performance Engineering (CAPE), home to Le Mans racing team, RLR Msport, and the new Ravat and Ray Dental Practice and clinical simulation services which recently opened in Bolton One.

“Such centres of industry excellence provide our students with the hands-on, practical skills they need for their chosen career, as well as providing a sound academic footing.

“University league tables are not always a reliable guide to an institution’s strengths and weaknesses.

“They measure performance on a specific range of criteria, many of which are not the main priority of modern, teaching-focused universities like Bolton.”

Top of the league, which was published online, was Cambridge University and bottom was London Metropolitan.

Principal author Dr Bernard Kingston said: “There was an official and fundamental review of the staff record data between the two years, while the old distinction between graduate and non-graduate employment has been replaced by one between professional and non-professional employment.”

He added that the rankings give would-be students “an accurate and independent guide to the UK university system”.

Comments (4)

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3:39pm Sun 25 May 14

Thatissowrong says...

Actually these league tables do provide a true reflection of organisational strengths and weaknesses; all universities are benchmarked and evaluated against the same criteria.
Bolton University has performed extremely badly since inception. I pity the poor students leaving with third rate degrees coupled with huge debts and poor employment prospects.
BU has no strengths and a multitude of weaknesses. There's a saying in the real world - until you accept there's a problem you can never fix it. I've met a good number of BU graduates in mundane low pay employment; in mobile phone shops, selling second hand cars and in casinos as croupiers, and yes even in fast food. Such a waste.
Actually these league tables do provide a true reflection of organisational strengths and weaknesses; all universities are benchmarked and evaluated against the same criteria. Bolton University has performed extremely badly since inception. I pity the poor students leaving with third rate degrees coupled with huge debts and poor employment prospects. BU has no strengths and a multitude of weaknesses. There's a saying in the real world - until you accept there's a problem you can never fix it. I've met a good number of BU graduates in mundane low pay employment; in mobile phone shops, selling second hand cars and in casinos as croupiers, and yes even in fast food. Such a waste. Thatissowrong
  • Score: 17

2:28pm Mon 26 May 14

CaptGold says...

The start of the decline was a couple of years after inception, if you look at the dates. The name changed to University in 2005, at which time its reputation was reasonable.
I agree league tables are a big deal. Employability is as well, and there's an identical trend.
Before 2005 the employability figure was usually over 90%
since then it's a sorry tale

2006 88.2%
2007 87.9%
2008 82.2%
2009 80.5%
2010 79.9%
2011 78.8%

The usual response from senior management is to say they have things under control. They don't.
They have to change the overall problem - the problem is the Uni's reputation. Looking back at what happened in 2005 / 2006 would be a good place to start.
The start of the decline was a couple of years after inception, if you look at the dates. The name changed to University in 2005, at which time its reputation was reasonable. I agree league tables are a big deal. Employability is as well, and there's an identical trend. Before 2005 the employability figure was usually over 90% since then it's a sorry tale 2006 88.2% 2007 87.9% 2008 82.2% 2009 80.5% 2010 79.9% 2011 78.8% The usual response from senior management is to say they have things under control. They don't. They have to change the overall problem - the problem is the Uni's reputation. Looking back at what happened in 2005 / 2006 would be a good place to start. CaptGold
  • Score: 15

4:26pm Sun 8 Jun 14

boltoncarer says...

The main weakness with UoB is the leadership since 2005. There is one voice and Senior management follow and staff have no freedom of speech or ideas . This is dictatorship not leadership. How can this be an environment for learning and be a success as nothing can grown or bloom. This why
sadly the University of bolton is at the bottom of league table.
The main weakness with UoB is the leadership since 2005. There is one voice and Senior management follow and staff have no freedom of speech or ideas . This is dictatorship not leadership. How can this be an environment for learning and be a success as nothing can grown or bloom. This why sadly the University of bolton is at the bottom of league table. boltoncarer
  • Score: 11

4:36pm Sun 8 Jun 14

boltoncarer says...

The weakness of UoB is the leadership since 2006. There is only one voice and senior management follow and staff no freedom of speech or ideas. This is not true leadership but dictatorship. How can this be an good environment for success and learning. Sadly this why the University of Bolton has sunk to the bottom of league tables over the last few years.
The weakness of UoB is the leadership since 2006. There is only one voice and senior management follow and staff no freedom of speech or ideas. This is not true leadership but dictatorship. How can this be an good environment for success and learning. Sadly this why the University of Bolton has sunk to the bottom of league tables over the last few years. boltoncarer
  • Score: 9

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