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Push profiles

Push's info is checked, checked and triple-checked before it goes live. In fact, it's so up-to-date, it's practically tomorrow's news. But hey, welcome to the 21st Century - things change and sometimes, just sometimes, we don't get to hear about it straightaway. To keep tears at bay, we try wherever possible to get official, comparative figures from national bodies like HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Agency). If we couldn't beg, borrow or bribe the rest of the info from the universities, or if they're just not applicable to that institution, we've used 'n/a'.

A quick word on names
As a headline, Push uses the name most students use or the most convenient title. So, for example, LSE is LSE, not the London School of Economics & Political Science. The institution’s exact name is used in the contacts tab in each profile.

Now, Push knows that stars don't tell the whole story, and anyone who makes a life-changing decision purely on the basis of a few twinklies needs their head examined. What you can do is use these to get a handle on some of the more complex stats floating around out there. Then, read that section of the profile for the wider picture, spread the word on the forum, and make your own mind up by visiting the uni and seeing things for yourself.

Push's stats rank all the universities on an equal basis; that means some mind-bending, death-defying calculations that take into account a host of factors, such as how many students there are, so the smaller unis don't miss out. The star rating system shows you how a university ranks compared to all the other universities.

Academic: Based on official teaching scores made by the QAA, which measure exam results and teaching quality, and students' own assessments (the National Student Survey). The more stars, the higher those scores were.
Booze index: Based on Push's average of the price of a round (a glass of wine, a pint of beer and a glass of orange juice) in the university's and local venues, weighted by the number of students living in and living out. The cheaper the round, the more stars.
Booze in college: A rating based on the average price of drinks in college-owned venues and weighted by the number of students 'living in'. The cheaper the round, the more stars.
Booze in town: ...no surprises here - it's the average price of drinks in local venues, weighted according to the number of students 'living out'. The cheaper the round, the more stars.
Cost of Living: Ranked by pound signs instead of stars, but the principle's the same. More £s means it's more expensive to live, with £££££ being the most expensive and £ being the least.Push’s index of living costs uses three indicators – student housing, groceries and drinks – to measure how each university’s living costs compare to the national average, represented as 100 on the index. You can see each university's index in our Vital Statistics Table, or click here for more info about the methodology we used to come up with the index.
Social activities:
Push gives out stars according to how lively the Clubs and Societies scene is at each university. Some places have a crammed cornucopia of organisations to join, and at others there’s barely a moldy old Rock Soc.
Sports:
Sports ratings are based on the BUSA championship ranking, with power walkers getting more stars, and the couch potatoes getting...slightly pudgy around the middle.
Housing: Accommodation ratings tax Push's calculator with a fiendishly complex calculation of average prices and the numbers of students living in and living out. More stars means cheaper rents.
College rents: Reflects the average cost of uni accommodation - the higher the stars, the cheaper.
Local rents: Indicates the average local rent. The more stars, the cheaper.
Welfare: How much support you can expect to get from the university according to the number of counsellors they provide, weighted by the size of the student body. More stars means more hugs.
Crime: Based on Home Office crime stats by area.

VITAL STATS
Founded: Many institutions have hazy histories involving too many complicated mergers and changes of name to have just one founding year. Push has selected just one year and, if further clarification is worthwhile, it’s explained elsewhere in the profile.
Full-time u’grads: This includes students on sandwich courses (nothing to do with slices of bread, but courses where time is spent on a work placement).
Part-time: Those on undergraduate courses only. Push has includes this figure because it can give you a feel of what being on campus – the atmosphere, facilities and student make-up – is like.
Postgrads: Full-time postgraduate students (who’ve already taken a degree and come back for more).
Non-degree: Often HND (Higher National Diploma) students but all sorts of vocational, access and pre-degree courses might be offered, especially at newer universities. Again, figures are for full-time students.
Ave course: The most common course length.
Ethnic: Criteria for definition will vary but this figure should give a pretty good idea of the cultural mix at a particular place.
State:private school: The ratio of undergraduates educated at state schools to those from privately-funded secondary schools. Across the UK the proportion of students from private schools is about 13%.
Flunk rate: This is an indication of the percentage of full-time undergraduates who don’t complete their course, whether because they fail the exams, change course/university, or just decide it ain't for them. The national average is nearly 15% (around one in seven) and figures fo

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