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In a past article Nicole Spiegel-Grolsch spoke to several leaders in the design industry to find out what they thought were the most important factors to consider in order to decide which university to attend. Von Glitshka explains in this article “Are they known for graduating quality students? Let’s face it many are after those willing to write a check and thus they don’t care too much about quality and rarely vet those taking their program”. He goes on to say “Do they teach and encourage drawing?” Many design programs are too tool centric and have seemingly abandoned analog skills like drawing”.

The The Complete University Guide ranks universities based on 10 indicators:

  • Student satisfaction – - measure of the average quality of the research undertaken in the university.
  • Research assessment- – measure of the view of students of the teaching quality at the university
  • Entry standards – The average UCAS tariff score of new students.
  • Staff/student ratio – measure of the average staffing level in the university.
  • Academic services spend – The expenditure per student on all academic services.
  • Facilities spend – expenditure per student on staff and student facilities.
  • Good honours degrees awarded – percentage of graduates achieving a first or upper second class honours degree.
  • Graduate prospects – measure of the employability of a university’s graduates.
  • Completion rates – measure of the completion rate of those studying at the university.
  • Green credentials – comprehensive and independent ranking of universities by environmental and ethical performance.

The website explains with regards to student assessment: “The National Student Survey asked questions about a variety of aspects of teaching. The average satisfaction score for all questions except the three about learning resources was calculated and then adjusted for the subject mix at the university”.

The 2015 league table lists the below as the top 10 but the full table can be found here: thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk.

  1. Oxford University (The Ruskin)
  2. University College London
  3. Lancaster
  4. Newcastle
  5. Brunel
  6. Reading
  7. Edinburgh
  8. Loughborough
  9. Heriot-Watt
  10. Leeds

For the second year running it is Oxford University that secures the top place for Art and Design Students. According to the university “The layout of the Ruskin’s facilities on two sites offers a strong working atmosphere. Personal studios are co-operatively arranged with fellow students according to need and change with each new group”. University College London received the highest student satisfaction score of the top ten universities and you will notice that Lancaster and Newcastle follow closely.

However many of the universities are different in their course layout and other areas such as for example the technologies they use. If you look at Oxford University the course is dedicated to studio practice and 25% to the history & theory of visual culture.

Another good article with some great resources is this one written by Neil Tortorella.