League of difference

April 28, 2000

Introductory notes to the league tables (THES, April 14), correctly stated that "efficiency is taken from the Hefce performance indicators".

However, the column containing efficiency measures was labelled "First-degree completion rates" and the definition of completion rates has been provided, rather than that of efficiency. The efficiency measure is probably the most complex of the performance indicators published last year. It is based on the behaviour patterns of full-time first-degree students only. The measure is the ratio of total time such students would spend at an institution if none failed to reach a satisfactory outcome or repeat years to total time spent by students.

Further details of this and of how transfers, time out of the institution and part-time study are dealt with, can be found in the Hefce publication 99/66, Performance Indicators in Higher Education, Annex C.

Judy Akinbolu Senior analyst, Higher Education Funding Council for England

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