June 1, 2012, by Paul Greatrix
Exciting new league table: 30 under six!
The 30 Universities making their names count
Following the outstanding success of the ‘100 under 50’ ranking in the Times Higher Education (a ranking which acknowledged that some universities didn’t enjoy all the advantages that hanging around for a couple of centuries or more bestowed in terms of league table performance) it seemed that it was about time there was recognition for those institutions which have done jolly well despite having really short names. So, a new ranking has been developed for those universities with very few letters to their name.
Using the core criteria from THE World Rankings mixed in with some unique UK indicators we get a fabulous result for British universities with no fewer than one third of the universities in the top 30 being from this country. Let’s have a look at those who are top in the short name stakes:
The number one slot then is, perhaps unsuprisingly, taken by Ulm University. Located in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Ulm University was founded in 1966. It chose its name wisely. Terrific results too for Hull, City, Bath, Essex, Aston, Keele and Derby Universities all of which have done well with four or five letter monikers.
Note that whilst complaints have been received about the methodology for this league table, from those who argued that it should be syllables rather than letter counts which matter to those who battled passionately for their acronyms to be regarded as their names (especially MIT, UCL, NUS, NYU, ANU and UEA) and also the legal team at Sciences Po, these have been set aside in order to maintain the essential arbitrariness of the core criteria.
I’m sure we can look forward to some more creative rankings.