University Ranking impact on students in the UK

University Ranking is considered an important parameter of every student’s life. The top-ranked universities put forward specific criteria for applicants. It helps universities to make filtration among applicants and easy to pick the most eligible and talented students for a particular academic period. There is an emerging new trend based on university ranking and student demands. Every student nowadays aspires to attend top-rank universities or colleges. At the same time, according to the increase in rankings, universities are restructuring the fees and criteria for applicants. In this article we shall see University Ranking impact on students in the UK

University Ranking impact on students in the UK

What is meant by university ranking?

Most universities and colleges have undergone ranking systems at different levels. The ranking of universities can be done at the state level, national level, international level, and sometimes continental level. The ranking criteria may be different from one another as far as the study done by different organizations. Government, NGOs, Social media platforms, magazines, etc. have been making a study on universities and publishing rankings every year. Till now there is any standardized ranking system existing. Every study is based on particular methodologies. And the mode of research or study is also different. 

The common criteria for university ranking

There are some common criteria taken by almost all researchers to allocate ranking. Those are:

  • Academic excellence.
  • Infrastructure.
  • Non-curriculum activities and students’ participation in them.
  • Teaching excellence of faculties.
  • History of university or college.
  • Students and faculties contribute to research, science, technology, literature, social action, etc.
  • Awards.
  • Initiatives and welfare programs are conducted each academic year.

The ranking criteria change, especially in the case of international level ranking. 

Many allegations take place on behalf of the accuracy of ranking. Anyone can’t make a 100% accurate systematic ranking, but certain ranking systems are considered to be widely accepted. UNESCO once ranked systems existing around. UNESCO then found out that the ranking system is either a good or bad process which anyhow enhances healthy competition between universities. 

Benefits of Ranking

Academic Benefits include:

  • Placement opportunities are high.
  • Students can participate in healthy competitions.
  • Students get the chance to interact and share their ideas, visions, and plans with national and international level students.
  • Increases the authenticity of one’s performance.
  • The university’s credibility directly reflects on the student’s behavior and commitment.

Social benefits include:

  • Students get a high reputation in society.
  • The respect and acceptance among the public would increase. 
  • Students are Privileged to study in Top-ranked universities.
  • Students would develop a high standard of living.

Economic benefits include:

  • Students are assured of placement and well-paid jobs.
  • Economic stability
  • Students would get the opportunity to explore the world and current trends without financial restrictions.

Ranking of universities in the UK

According to a study by US News & World Report, The UK has dipped to the second spot in 2021 Best Countries for Education, maintaining its rank from last year. 

As per Times Higher Education Ranking (2022) 

University of Oxford 1
University of Cambridge5
Imperial College London12
University College London18
London School of Economics and Political Science.27

According to University Rankings by QS World (2021)

  • Rank 1: University of Oxford
  • Rank 2: University of Cambridge
  • Rank 3: Imperial College London
  • Rank 4: University college Lonon
  • Rank 5: University of Edinburgh
  • Rank 6: The University of Manchester
  • Rank 7: King’s College London
  • Rank 8: London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Rank 9: University of Bristol
  • Rank 10: The University of Warwick

Does university ranking matter in the UK for international students?

For international students, ranking matters a lot. Because these students are coming to the UK for their better careers and to experience the flavors of the UK. Year by year universities are making changes to attain or maintain their ranking. That leads to increased fees for academics. From studies, it is clear that high-ranked universities or colleges demand high educational fees including tuition fees. International students should be aware of the revised fee structure of their dream university before applying. Yes, it is a fact that the placement opportunities are very high for those students who are qualified from Top-ranked universities. But for international students in which most of them are paying fees via Bank loans, the financial burden is very high. And students have to do part-time work with specific hours. Reports stated that it is somewhat difficult for fresh students in the UK to find a part-time job that is suitable for either their passion or career building. The expense of living is also high in the UK. So the international students should take care of the financial outbreaks and burden when running behind the rankings!

The applicants are constantly being taught about the importance of ranking. This can lead to a sense of competition in the education system. The influence of rankings is also likely to increase as there are plans to expand the number of universities that are ranked. It shows a red signal as if it leads to any kind of risk that will affect the future of students and their decisions about which university to attend. The study of a survey which is conducted on around 5000 students reveals that two-thirds of International students were influenced by the University rankings. They may be less likely to apply to that university, which can limit their access to higher education, or they may be less likely to go if they are accepted. 


In the advancing and updating world, education seems to be given and taken in multiple modes. Even online education has found its track in the education system after lockdown. Everyone around the world looks for qualitative education. Receiving an education is one of the basic human rights available to the human race. And that is a human right. The ruling government has the responsibility to ensure it. University Ranking has had a great impact in recent days. The fashion of choosing higher rank universities for studies is not a new thing. But recent trends reveal that this fashion has become a relevant significance in the educational system.