University bosses today urged potential students to treat league tables with caution after the University of Central Lancashire dropped 17 places.
It is ranked 85th out of 119 in the latest The Guardian University Guide, down from 67th last year.
While our overall position is down on last year there are many elements of this table that reflect positively on our focus to provide an excellent student experience.Professor Gai Murphy
UCLan is the only university in the county to have gone down the chart.
Lancaster retained its 10th place ranking, Edge Hill rose from 75th last year to 69 and the Lancaster-based University of Cumbria is up from 104 to 96th place.
The criteria used to compile tables and guides varies and UCLan said the Preston-based institution fared better in all the national tables and is rated among the top modern universities in the region.
Professor Gai Murphy, pro vice-chancellor (Student Experience), said: “While our overall position is down on last year there are many elements of this table that reflect positively on our focus to provide an excellent student experience.
“For instance, student satisfaction with the quality of feedback and assessment by lecturers is ranked 24th in the UK and we are also the top modern university in the North West for spend per student.”
She added: “We have also improved our position in terms of graduate employment and this mirrors the results of new research which has named UCLan the top university in the North West for graduate start-up businesses and second nationally for the number that are still active after three years.
“We will continue our focus of embedding employability skills into every one of our degree programmes.”
UCLan was among the nation’s top performers in a number of the subject league tables, including dentistry, where it is ranked 15th out to 85; sports science; journalism, publishing and public relations, computer science which was ranked 31st out of 104, engineering and is in the middle of the rankings for most other courses. Some, including psychology and music, are in the bottom quarter.
Prof Murphy added: “Newspaper university guides are just one way to learn about universities but we would urge those serious about applying to visit our campus and meet the staff and students.
“We run open days and applicant days throughout the year, the next open day being on the June 20, where potential students will gain a real taster of what the UCLan experience is all about.”
Lancaster is ranked number one in the North West for graduate employment.