Comments posted on the blog have suggested to me that I may not fully understand the methodology behind People & Planet's league tables, and that I should look at them more closely. This sounded all too likely, I have to say, and so I've had another trawl through the data. Having done this, I still think that there are problems. Here are a couple of examples of why I think that the '37 is excellent (but 36.5 isn't)' is a hard line to justify:
1. If you take the number of solid green stars awarded, as opposed to the number of solid red exclamation marks, into account, there are anomalies: John Moores get 0 stars but 2 exclamation marks (and gets a First), whereas UWE gets 2 solid green stars but 0 exclamation marks (and doesn't). Perhaps the numbers are getting in the way of a finer judgement here? NB, why doesn't Gloucestershire (with 7 solid stars and no exclamations at all) come top? On the face of it, it seems to be doing much better than Nottingham Trent), although none of Gloucestershire's solid green stars are for "performance", which seems a problem in itself.
2 It still seems a long stretch from Gloucestershire (7 green stars) to Oxford Brookes (none), yet both get Firsts.
3. Anyway, should any institution be given a First if it has no solid green stars for "Performance"? This year, 23 are.
Enough! This is my last word on the tables (for at least 12 months).