Thursday, 8 November 2018

Trust us- we're a top 1% Business School

Benjamin Disraeli once, famously, said:

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics".


...and of course you want your degree to be from one of those prestigious institutions that is, actually, the cream, at the top of whichever league table you choose to trust (but do remember that most things that float rise to the top - picture not included).  However, some institutions should really be more careful about such claims since it is all too easy to ask for and evaluate the evidence behind the claim.

Take the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), for example: One University announced that it had come third!  Did it mean that it had received a bronze award?  Third place in Olympic terms but actually, 25 institutions received a bronze award in 2017, behind 66 receiving silver and 46 gold.  No, the answer is more prosaic.  The institution got Gold but then did its own analysis of the flawed metrics to calculate it's own position.

Or take written student "satisfaction" feedback.  What does a score of 95% satisfaction actually mean?  The course was easy, so we liked it?  The course was challenging, so we liked it?  The lecturers told lots of jokes, so we liked it?  Who knows?

So why do we take so much notice of statistics?

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