Northampton's university rails against 'out of date' rankings after 32-place drop in league table

The University of Northampton has ranked 105th out of 121 universities in the Guardian's latest league tables.
The University of Northampton has ranked 105th out of 121 universities in the Guardian's latest league tables.

The University of Northampton has dropped more than 30 places in the latest league tables compiled by the Guardian.

The national newspaper's recent university ratings has placed Northampton 105th out of 121 universities in England, Wales and Scotland.

It marks a 32 -place drop from last year's ranking of 73 - and an even greater drop in the overall standings from 2015, when the university was placed at 61.

A spokeswoman from the University of Northampton hit out at the way the rankings are compiled.

“The Guardian University League tables are compiled by collating a number of different metrics, some of which are out of date and not indicative of improvements the university has made," the spokeswoman said.

"While this and similar league tables can offer some guidance for students and parents, it’s important to delve beyond the headline ranking and decide if the university is right for the individual."

The university performed well in art, ranking ninth out of the 121 universities - but it scored poorly in terms of career prospects.

The Guardian says employability is assessed by looking at the proportion of graduates who find "graduate-level employment", or who on to study at a higher education or professional level, within 6 months of graduation.

At Northampton, only 57 per cent of students went on to meet either criteria.

But the spokeswoman said there were positives to be gleaned from the tables.

“It’s our mission to transform lives by making higher education something open to anyone who has the ability and ambition to succeed," she said.

"The University of Northampton is ranked in the top 20 in the country for ‘added value’ - the way in which we help our students to meet their true potential – which is a perfect example of our success in inspiring positive change in people.”

Cambridge has topped the Guardian University Guide league table for the seventh year running, while Oxford remains in second place and St Andrews in third.