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ERIC Number: EJ801817
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0951-5224
The Impact of League Tables on University Application Rates
Gunn, Rod; Hill, Steve
Higher Education Quarterly, v62 n3 p273-296 Jul 2008
In the UK, the popular use of league tables in assessing the comparative standing of universities has escalated to such an extent that most UK national newspapers now publish them. A review of literature to date suggests there has been little academic research undertaken to establish the value of such tables or to assess their impact upon student application rates. This paper explores the relationship between league position and application rates in the UK, using rankings from the Sunday Times as an example, with important lessons for higher education across the globe. Results show that in the period when league tables were newly introduced, there was a significant negative association between league table position (ranked from highest to lowest) and the change in application rates (that is, the higher the league position, the faster the growth in applications) an association that subsequently weakened and may have even have reversed. The paper goes on to explore the notion of various divisions within the overall league table, suggesting that there are effectively two "selecting" divisions, typically choosing from a surplus of applicants, and two "recruiting" divisions, typically working to avoid an applications shortfall against target numbers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom