The 11th annual edition of The Times Good University Guide impartially compares Britain's 102 universities and ranks many of the 50,000 different courses available.
Choosing a university and making an application has become a minefield of colossal proportions because Britain now has two million university students, 10 times as many as in the 1960s. Are you are in a school or college whose teaching staff are less than well-informed about higher education, the pleasures, pitfalls and extraordinarily wide range? This remains regrettably common despite government confidence that soon 50 per cent of all school leavers will be bound for uni. Try as a substitute The Times Good University Guide 2003 which includes statistical data about teaching standards, students numbers, classes of degree awarded, finance and accommodation.
At the heart of The Times Good University Guide is an alphabetical listing of universities. It follows a ranking of universities according to the subjects they teach best (or worst). Durham, for example tops the league table for Physics, whilst Warwick is rated highest for sociology. A double page is devoted to each university detailing its history, track record, perceived status, drop out rate, recruitment numbers from state schools and an interesting overview.
Careful inclusion of addresses, Web sites, e-mail details and phone numbers means that the reader can use the Guide as an information springboard before obtaining prospectuses and other details about specific universities and courses that he or she is interested in. Also listed are contact details for Higher Education providers which are not universities and information about relevant organisations such as ECCTIS, the online Higher Education database.--Susan Elkin [via]