Know your quartiles

August 17, 2007

Paul Wellings, vice-chancellor of Lancaster University,

claims that his university "is now in the top quartile of

UK institutions" (Letters,

July 20).

No university is that, since a quartile is not a segment of a distribution but a boundary.

There are three quartiles: One quarter of a rank- ordered group is below the lower quartile and one quarter is above the upper quartile.

The middle quartile splits the distribution in two and is called the median.

Stephen Senn

Professor of statistics

Glasgow University

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments