Falmouth University tumbles down the league table

Posted By on 26th April 2018

26th April 2018

By Rashleigh MacFarlane

Falmouth University has crashed down the league table of further and higher education institutions, according to the latest students’ guide.

The latest Complete University league tables show that Falmouth has dropped to 90th.

This is a fall of 27 places from 63 in 2018 and is the second year running that the university has fallen down the rankings.  In 2017, the same guide had Falmouth at 58th.

This year’s decline represents the second largest drop of all universities, behind only Middlesex.  Of those universities with "arts" in their title, Falmouth appears to be ranked the lowest.  The Arts University Bournemouth, University for the Creative Arts, Norwich University of the Arts, Leeds Arts University and University of the Arts, London are all higher in the 2019 tables.

Bizarrely, the university’s own website continues to boast that it is the “number one creative university” – a claim for which Falmouth was last year severely reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority.



Falmouth University's claim to be "the number one creative university" was severely criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority, but is still on the university's website

Cornwall Reports has asked why the university is still making this claim, despite the ASA ruling, and is waiting for a reply.

Falmouth University recently spent more than £27,000 – equivalent to the cost of an entire three-year undergraduate course – to attend a festival in Hong Kong.  Vice chancellor Anne Carlise’s pay and pension package of nearly £320,000 makes her Cornwall’s highest paid public sector worker.

This article has 4 comments

  1. Pingback: Falmouth University continues its slide down national league tables | Cornwall Reports

  2. As an a now retired lecturer at Falmouth I would be interested to see how this rating has come about. I particularly wonder if the fact that arts students are no longer recquired to produce a full length dissertation in their third year and therefore cannot earn a BA Hons. is part of the problem. Or whether the number of students receiving a 2.1 or a first has dropped? Or the fact that students who pat top whack fees are expected to hot desk because of the university’s insistence on increasing the yearly cohorts? Whilst at the same time the staff are given less and less hours per student? There is no doubt in my, and many minds, that the quality of the student experience at Falmouth is being severely impoverished by its present Chancellor.

  3. The salaries of University Vice-Chancellor’s have been the subject of considerable comment and scrutiny in recent times. Some would say such scrutiny is wholly justified and certainly responsible government ministers and the recently created Office for Students appears to have got their teeth into the topic. Not before time you might say.

    What appears to be lacking is any appreciation or comment of this issue, is what is value for money in a VC’s income & rewards, what level of reward is justified or would be accepted by the public, particularly the fee-paying students?

    Any suggestion that the salary of any individual VC is disproportionate to their responsibility meets a frisson of repudiation from this interested minority. They protest too much! Are they worth the candle? Some small universities reward their VCs magnificently.

    Why not reward VCs according to the size of the institution? Last Year Falmouth had 5,385 students – The VC’s income was £309,000, a relative income of £57.40 for each student.

    Exeter University, which partly shares a campus with Falmouth, had an overall establishment of 23,175 students. Exeter’s Vice-Chancellor received a reward of £424,000, just £18.30 for each student. He has more than four times as many students to manage yet receives less than one-third of Falmouth’s relative reward. Perhaps Sir Steve Smith should be paid £1.3 Million, the Falmouth going rate, or should Falmouth’s VC get Sir Steve Smith’s student proportionate level of reward – just £98,500? – more to reflect the level of responsibility?

    The larger universities with more than 15,000 students (about half of them), pay their VCs between £9 and £24 per student. The very small universities (less than 3,000 students), of which there are 27 institutions, pay their VCs eye-watering student related rewards. Thirteen of these are specialist Arts Institutions although Falmouth is not one of them.

    The is a marked inverse correlation where the smaller the university, the more obscene the reward for each student enrolled, the larger the institution, the more realistic the salary.

    VCs of Universities between 10,000 and 15,000 students are paid £24 per student; 6,000 to 10,000 students £34 and those of 3,000 to 5,000 students £51 for each student. Falmouth is in this group and at £57-40 is paying above the odds.

    The average salary for a VC is £289,000. The average size of a University is 15,000 students. Falmouth’s VC is therefore getting paid 11% more than the average for a University that is one-third of the size.

    Your previous reporting has indicated that some 48% of student fees goes towards salaries. Thus, some 75 students are required to fund their Vice Chancellor.

    In the case of Falmouth University, league tables have demonstrated that the earning expectations of their newly qualified graduates is £16,800 a year, significantly below the national average of £27,000 with Falmouth ranked 127th out of 129 Universities sampled.

    Also, it has also been shown that any prospect of Falmouth’s students being likely to pay back their student loans is very low with Falmouth University 5th from the bottom of the list in this potential.

    The most recent league table (The Complete University Guide), shows that Falmouth is 90th in a list of 131 Universities sampled, having dropped 27 places in this last year. Falmouth is in the lowest third of the table.

    Exeter University is 12th in this same league table, up two places.

    If a Vice-Chancellor is producing results with a very large and diverse institution why should he/she not be rewarded sufficiently? However, there appears to be considerable scope for a comprehensive review of reward for responsibility and results.

    Falmouth’s Vice-Chancellor received a ‘Bonus/ Performance Related Pay of £39,000 as part of the £309,000 remuneration. In view of the appalling results what was this for? How can your reported new remuneration package of £320,000 be therefore justified? All the indicators would suggest that a Falmouth VC is only worth one-third of the current remuneration.

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