Civic pride versus damned statistics 3

March 13, 2008

Working in the urban squalor of a university rated 119th, I can only envy those more fortunate colleagues, located mainly in the south of England, who wake up to the sound of larks ascending and the smell of freshly mown grass. But on my way into work this morning (crunching over discarded hypodermics, dodging muggers and ruefully reflecting on Glasgow property prices), I found myself needing yet more information that might helpfully be presented in a league table of the kind you have pioneered.

Could we have universities ranked by SUV ownership perhaps (the Cherokee-Times Higher Education survey)? Or by proximity to Waitrose? Or might it be the case that some of us rather like the buzz of big city life, even if we sometimes find breathing (let alone parking) a bit of a challenge?

Jonathan Sawday, Professor of English studies, University of Strathclyde.

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