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League tables don't measure our strengths; Universities miss top 40.

Byline: Laura Davis

LIVERPOOL'S uni versities hit out last night against league tables which rated them outside the top 40 in the country . John Moores Uni versity was listed in 83rd position, while Liverpool Uni versity,one of Britain 's elite red-brick establishments, was awarded just 42nd place . The tables look at nine measures of quality, from official teaching and research assessments scores, to the rate of students' graduate-level jobs.

A spokeswoman for Liverpool University said the tables were not as important as inde pen dent quality assessments .

She said: ``Different league tables ine vi tably measure different things.

Of greater importance to this uni versity is that our performance in delivering excellence in research and teaching has been confirmed in formalassessment, which takes place on a national basis,and that our high quality courses are increasing in popularity with students .''

Liverpool Uni versity scored 21.8 out of a possible 24 points for teaching, placing it joint 41st in the country .

However, in terms of career prospects, it scored much better, in 26th place with 77.9pc of students leaving for graduate-typeemployment.

JMU fared a little better, with 79pc of graduates gaining appropriate employment.

However, it was given just 20.6 points for its teaching, leaving it lagging in joint 83r d place.

A JMU spokeswoman said: ``League tables do not really paint an accurate picture of the uni versity, due to the criteria that is taken into consideration when compiling them. ``They do not necessarily play to the strengths of the uni versity.'' Both uni versities have been highlighted as leaders in specialist fields.

JMU was rated fourth in the country for its land property management department and 15th for its building department.

Liverpool Uni versity came joint seventh for materials tech nolo gy and 17th for archaeology.

Compiled by The Times ne wspaper, the league tables have been a source of contention since they were first printed adecadeago. While many academics believe they give a false representation of uni versities' achievements , the tables have establishedafollowing among parents and pr ospective students .

Oxford Uni versity ranks top in the overall table with Cambridge coming a close second and ImperialCollege in third place.

However, in terms of graduate employment, it rates just ninth, with Cambridge taking over first place.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 8, 2003
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