Slim evidence for slander

November 17, 2011

I read with interest your coverage of the study suggesting the inverse relationship between teaching quality, broad educational student-focused outcomes and associated university rankings ("Topsy-turvy ranking in social science teaching", 10 November).

It doesn't seem credible to undertake this type of research if the leap-of-faith conclusion is that good teaching is the "exception rather than the rule" in universities at the higher end of the rankings. Take a look at the National Student Survey: despite its foibles, every higher education institution participates, the sample is massive, the teaching-related questions are pretty clear and the results, for some, are startlingly consistent over time.

There is excellent teaching in every university, so let's get away from league table slander, especially if the evidence is so limited.

Steve Gaskin, National teaching fellow, University of Exeter

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree
A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy