Mid Wales

Aberystwyth University's rankings fall prompts student concern

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Media captionStudents at Aberystwyth say they are concerned the rankings will affect their job prospects

Students at Aberystwyth University have expressed concern after the institution has seen a dramatic fall in its rank in UK league table guides.

It has now dropped out of the top four universities in Wales and is ranked 93rd in the UK in one national guide.

The latest rankings means students in their third year have seen the university drop from the top 50 in their time there.

But the university said it aims to be ranked in the top 30 in the UK by 2017.

The Guardian university guide has seen Aberystwyth slump to 88th place, down from 49th place in 2011 while The Times now ranks it 93rd in its Good University Guide.

It has also dropped into the bottom quarter of universities worldwide.

Student Tom Wooldridge said the university had had a "decent reputation but, with it slipping, it's only a matter of time before employers realise it's is not as competitive as the top universities these days.... so it's a worry".

Fellow student Joe Mallinder said: "How has it gone down so quickly in two years, what has drastically changed... and will that have a massive effect on me getting a job?"

Image caption Pro Vice-Chancellor Rebecca Davies: "By 2017 we want to be one of the top 30 universities in the UK"

Established in 1872, Aberystwyth's history and name has been regarded as prestigious but some students fear it is becoming nothing more than a clearing university with some courses requiring just two E grades at A Level to get in.

The university says it has invested heavily in facilities in recent years.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Rebecca Davies believes the league tables are not a fair reflection on standards at Aberystwyth.

"By 2017 we want to be one of the top 30 universities in the UK," said.

Referring to the recent rankings, she said: "It is always disappointing when you hear news like that but it was not a surprise for us because in Aberystwyth, over the last couple of years, we have been investing so much.

"We have been listening to the student voice to make sure we have the best ever student experience," she said.

Image caption Established in 1872, Aberystwyth was the first university institution in Wales

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