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Mixed results for Welsh universities in new higher education league tables

Cardiff University

Cardiff retains its position as the best university in Wales while Aberystwyth slides, the Complete University Guide shows

Universities in Wales have recorded mixed fortunes in a new higher education league table published.

Cardiff University retains its position as the best in Wales according to the Complete University Guide, rising 12 places to 23rd in a list of 123 institutions.

Swansea University was the next highest in Wales, rising from 48th in the UK to 42nd, while Glyndwr, although ranked much lower in the table at 110th, also rose five places.

There was less cause for celebration elsewhere in Wales, with institutions like Aberystwyth University recording sharp falls of up to 17 places.

The West Wales university, which has targeted a place in the top 30 universities in the UK by 2017, slipped to 87th in the 2015 rankings from 70th in 2014.

Cardiff Metropolitan fell two places to 98th, the University of South Wales dipped nine places to 100th and Bangor steadied its position – rising one place to 64th.

Cardiff University’s pro vice-chancellor Professor Patricia Price hailed what she described as a “significant stride forward” for the city institution, which has eyes on a place in the UK’s top 20.

“In many areas our teaching and research are world-leading, so it is really pleasing to be recognised in this way,” she said.

“However, the news will not result in complacency on our part. We will continue to work to improve our performance so that Cardiff University becomes recognised, at national and international levels, as being synonymous with research excellence and outstanding educational opportunities.”

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Swansea University’s pro vice-chancellor, said: “I’m really encouraged to see these fantastic results, which show that we are continuing our upward trajectory.

“This excellent result follows the news that we have moved up amongst the top 500 universities in the world, putting us in the top 5% globally.

“It shows that our hard work is paying off in areas including improving the student experience. We are delighted that our big increase in spending per student is also reflected in the results.”

Not surprisingly, Oxford and Cambridge occupied the UK’s top spots, with the London School of Economics and Political Science third.

The top ten is unchanged, while the universities of Southampton (16th) and Newcastle (20th) enter the top 20, with Edinburgh (21st) and King’s College (28th) dropping out.

Dr Bernard Kingston, principal author of the Complete University Guide, said: “The league tables, taken with the rankings for specific subjects, offer would-be students an accurate and independent guide to the UK university system.

“They should not be used in isolation but alongside all the other advice and information in the guide. Its tables are recognised for their stability and consistency.” (Wales Online)

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