London Met beats several Russell Group universities for teaching quality

Sunday Times league table shows students rate teaching at London Met above LSE, King's College, UCL, Imperial and Queen Mary.

Date: 28 September 2016

London Metropolitan University’s focus on teaching quality has seen it ranked above some of the capital’s most prestigious institutions for teaching excellence.

The Sunday Times Good University Guide looks at a range of metrics when compiling its league table and includes a category for 'teaching excellence' – which is derived from the National Student Survey completed by final year undergraduate students each year. 

The Guide shows London Met scored above Imperial College London, King's College London, University College London, Queen Mary and the London School of Economics when it comes to teaching excellence.

Academics who know how to teach

The news highlights how London Met is emerging as one of the capital’s best universities for teaching quality, well ahead of more traditional universities which place greater focus on research.

Earlier this year, London Met smashed its target for supporting academic staff in securing recognised teaching qualifications. The University has more academics with Higher Education Academy fellowships than the sector average; over 40% of academics at London Met are HEA fellows, compared to a sector average of 23%.

The University has also introduced a student led module feedback scheme to enable students to flag issues with teaching that can be fixed in real time, during their course.

John Raftery, Vice Chancellor of London Met, said: “Good things are happening here, and this data shows that we are making real progress as a University. We see ourselves as a teaching focused University where we invest properly in educating students - not at the expense of research, but because of our mission. We are here to transform lives through excellent education.”

League table bias

Despite London Met’s strong performance in teaching quality, the University was ranked low down in the Sunday Times guide – something which the Vice Chancellor sees as symptomatic of a broader problem with league tables.

“I think it does show how league tables are stacked against universities like ours, which don’t invest heavily in research and instead focus more energies in providing students with quality teaching,” said Professor Raftery.

“It is disappointing that, despite outperforming some very prestigious universities in the categories that, we would argue, matter most to students, those universities still rank above us overall. If we are going to give students a proper choice about the kind of institution to attend – whether a research focused university or one where more time is dedicated to teaching students – then I think the league table system is well overdue a shake up.”

One area where London Met makes a real difference is in the extra value it adds for students, something which the Vice Chancellor is pushing to be better represented in league table scoring.