A PAIR of Universities have hit out at The Complete University Guide over their latest rankings which do “not reflect (their) success.”

Wrexham Glyndwr and the University of Chester each dropped down three places, putting them both outside of the top 100 higher education institutions, in a league table of 131 UK Universities.

While Chester slipped just outside that bracket, at 101st, Wrexham Glyndwr fell to 130th – making it the second lowest ranked institute in Great Britain, according to The Complete University Guide.

But after being approached by the Leader, both universities defended themselves in light of their positions in the latest rankings.

A spokesman for Wrexham Glyndwr University said: “As a university we have been placed in the top 100 by a number of different awards in the past year.

“We’ve been found to be the most socially inclusive in the UK in September, and in recent weeks rated highly as both an institution, and for the strength of our courses and lecturers in awards voted for by students across the UK.

“This year’s Complete University Guide ranking does not reflect that success.”

This is now the fifth consecutive year that Glyndwr has found itself within touching distance of the bottom of the pile, but now being closer than ever before, a spokesman added:

“We have been working over the last couple of years to transform the university and that work continues. We’re continuing to improve the quality of our teaching and research and are seeing more and more fantastic achievements from our graduates.

“We’ve unveiled several new student-centred improvements as part of our ambitious Campus 2025 estates renewal programme, including innovative teaching and social learning spaces.

“We fully intend for that work to continue – with major plans for our Wrexham campuses set to go before Wrexham councillors later this year.”

The University of Chester, meanwhile, has continued its worrying slide down the rankings – slipping to 101st after having been 78th in 2015.

Despite acknowledging the rankings, the University insist that they are not the sole determiner for prospective students. A spokesperson for the University of Chester said:

“It’s a combination of the student perspective and many other factors, including the University’s attractive curriculum and campus locations, which influences applicants to choose Chester, rather than league table rankings in isolation.

“The latter can vary considerably from year to year (but) nevertheless, the University analyses league table performance studiously, to identify potential areas for improvement.

“It is important to note that the gaps between universities’ rankings are marginal, (and) in some cases no more than fractional. What could appear to be a considerable rise or fall is actually relatively modest.”

The University point to the satisfaction levels of their current students as a reason for prospective ones to continue considering Chester.

Within the latest Complete University Guide rankings, ‘student satisfaction’ has risen by a tenth of a point, constituting seven places, to joint 29th place.

In a vigorous defence, their spokesman added: “Student Satisfaction in six subjects at the University of Chester is in the top 10 nationally.

“Students have also recently rated the University 39th out of the 131 institutions nationally in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCA), its courses and lecturers, 24th and Chester Students’ Union, 9th.

“The Complete University Guide states that the University is 14th in the UK and in the region’s top three for Student Facilities Spend and top five for Academic Services Spend ‘proving it’s a university eager to invest money for the benefit of its students.’

“It also shows national top 10 positions for the University in 10 subjects across a range of disciplines in terms of Research Intensity, and in two subjects for Graduate Prospects.

“There has been a rise of 15 places (and 3.9%) in the number of Good Honours degrees, but the University rigorously opposes ‘grade inflation’. University of Chester degree classifications are earned fairly.

“The Entry Standards measure should improve next year, to reflect the University’s revised policy of making conditional offers, rather than unconditional ones.”

The Complete University Guide are just one of three official compilers of UK rankings, alongside The Times and The Guardian – neither of which have released their 2020 league tables as of yet.

In the last rankings, The Guardian placed Chester 94th and Wrexham Glyndwr 97th. The Times, meanwhile, ranked Chester in joint 95th but Glyndwr failed to make the top 100.