Record straighteners

December 21, 2001

Generous offers of help have deluged the offices of The THES since last week's publication of the results of the research assessment exercise.

Compiling a league table based on the results gained by the researchers assessed by the RAE was, it seems, a "surprising" and "simplistic" exercise.

A more "realistic" response, put forward by City University, would be to look at "the most improved universities in terms of international and national excellence".

The London School of Economics offered an alternative analysis that boosted the school's standing to second place. And the Institute of Cancer Research proffered a measure based on "total academic staff number-weighted averages" - which lifted the ICR up to fourth place in the rankings.

Meanwhile, a flurry of press releases arrived, trumpeting the successes of various institutions. The Diary's favourite came from De Montfort University: "The grade 5 result for politics, for example, puts De Montfort University ahead of Cambridge, Nottingham, Leicester, Leeds, Durham, Edinburgh and Southampton and on the same level as other leaders in the field such as the London School of Economics, Manchester and Warwick."

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