How many times a college appears on University Challenge is a better guide to future earnings than official Government figures, study claims
- Researchers analysed performances and compared it with graduate earnings
- Government does not rank universities as to how much money graduates make
- TEF is intended to rank the quality of the teaching at an institution
- Study claims that the show was a better measure of this than the official stats
If you want to know whether you will earn a packet of money after attending a particular university, a good guide is watching University Challenge, a study claims.
The number of appearances a university has made on the TV show since 1994 is closely correlated to how much money each university earns.
Researchers analyses performance data and appearances and compared it with graduate earnings at age 29.
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If you want to know whether you will earn a packet of money after attending a particular university, a good guide is watching University Challenge, a study claims
Dr Katarzyna Zdunczyk and Professor Marco Mongiello, of the University of Surrey, analysed appearances in the BBC2 programme.
The government does not rank universities as to how much money graduates make when they leave.
Instead it uses a measure called Teaching Excellence Framework, which rates universities either gold, silver or bronze.
This is done based on the quality of their teaching and ‘how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment’.
Professor Mongiello told the British Academy of Management conference in Birmingham that the government’s TEF measure does not give much guidance as to whether going to certain institutions will help you get rich.
Getting on University Challenge gives a ‘rough indicator’ of the quality of students taking part.
Professor Mongiello said: ‘We found that the TV programme University Challenge was a better predictor than TEF.
‘There is a correlation between appearing on University Challenge and higher real earnings,’ Professor Mongiello said.
‘Moreover, there is no correlation between TEF gold and silver and higher earnings.’
He added that although the TEF is supposed to measure how well a university teaches, and not how much its graduates earn, parents and sixth-formers could easily assume it measures income.
He said: ‘Parents and sixth-formers who are less used to sift through data and to apply critical analysis of information might be misled by the simplistic gold, silver and bronze marks awarded to universities.’
Getting on University Challenge gives a ‘rough indicator’ of the quality of students taking part, a new study claims
Dr Zdunczyk told the conference that ‘Parents and sixth-formers would be better off if they simply went for the universities that appear more often on University Challenge.
‘By relying on superficial measures of student experience and outcomes, TEF misinforms potential students about what matters when choosing a higher education institution.
‘Far from empowering students in making one of the most important decisions of their lives, it blurs the rules of the game even further by purporting to be a credible, state-assured framework.’
The university which has appeared the most between 1994 and 2018 is Cambridge University – its individual colleges have appeared 133 times, while those of Oxford have appeared 122 times.
Following that is Durham, with 19, Edinburgh and Warwick with 18 a piece, and Manchester and York with 17.
For example, Warwick University has had 18 appearances on University Challenge, but is only ranked as silver, but its male graduates earn around £50,400 by the age of 29.
By comparison, York University has had 17 appearances and is rated ‘gold’ but its male undergraduates earn £43,900 by the age of 29.
WHAT UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE PREDICTS FOR FUTURE EARNINGS