Warwick has come in 3rd among Russell Group universities in a ranking made by The Economist, and 17th overall in the UK, for offering added value for students.
The aim of the ranking is to rate universities according to the most positive impact they have on their students, by estimating what graduates from each university can expect to earn.
Added value was measured in terms of the difference between graduates’ actual earnings and expected earnings per annum; it does not rank universities only from highest to lowest average earnings.
Out of the Russell Group universities, only Nottingham and Oxford ranked higher than Warwick.
The University of Portsmouth topped the rankings, with graduates earning on average £3,093 more than expected. Oxford came in 10th, whereas Cambridge and LSE came in 38th and 74th respectively.
At Warwick, it was found that graduates’ actual earnings are £1,218 higher than their expected earnings on average. The course with the most value added was Economics, with actual earnings of £7,920 in excess of expected earnings, followed by Business, Computer Science, Maths and Law.
The course with the least added value at Warwick was Education, with graduates earning £7,805 less than expected, followed by Communications, Engineering, Languages and Creative Arts.
The model looked at factors such as how selective a university is, what subjects its students study, the share of students from lower-income areas, how many students enter after the age of 20, what share of students attended private schools and where the university is located.
Graduate earnings are becoming an increasingly important issue in higher education: the ranking comes amidst increasing pressure on universities to offer value for money given a further increase in tuition fees in line with inflation.
Also, the release of a “Teaching Excellence Framework”, which classifies universities according to the quality of teaching and links this to the fees, seems to add further pressure on universities; it was met with some criticism.