ABSTRACT

This chapter challenges the ubiquitous faith in league tables and calls into question their ability to capture the richness and complexity of UK universities. There is concern in the UK that when the general public is faced with random lists of universities, they rank them as if they were a single entity with shared missions, history and contexts. In his work on the markets, Roger Brown has clearly stated the limitations of such rankings: Whilst Brown and he argue from two distinct perspectives, they have both strived to find alternative models that could legitimate rational comparisons between universities. The worldwide marketisation of higher education creates increased demand for information about universities and colleges and what they offer. All the data used was obtained from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), thus ensuring a level of confidence with their validity and reliability that could be secured from accessing the universities data directly.