South College tops academic rankings for second year in a row

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South College has come out on top of Palatinate’s Evans Table – a ranking of college academic performance – for the second year running.

The system awards nine points for a first, four for a 2:1, one for a 2:2, and none for a Third or below. This number is then divided by the maximum possible score for each to award a college’s annual ‘Evans score’, named after the late former Sunday Times and Palatinate Editor Sir Harold Evans.

The rankings are based on the degrees awarded at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year. The rankings below come from data obtained by Palatinate in a Freedom of Information request to Durham University.

Following Higher Education Statistics Agency guidelines, the data points (for a college’s annual results for any particular degree classification) sent were rounded to the nearest five. The true numbers, therefore, will likely differ slightly from these results.

Any data points with fewer than two students were rounded to zero, and excluded from these calculations.

St. Aidan’s was the lowest ranking college, with Stephenson ranking bottom last year. The average ranking has been quickly increasing over time, particularly after the pandemic as the University introduced online exams and policies to mitigate against the effects of Covid-19, with many of the policies relating to online exams staying in place after lockdowns have ended.

Even prior to the pandemic, the average grade was already increasing at a steady rate, as shown by the graph below showing the Evans Scores of Durham Colleges over time. South was only included from 2020 as that is when they had their first graduates.

South have topped the table in both years they have been included, with St. John’s college coming out on top in two of the three years before South was included, with both Castle and St. Chad’s also topping the table in recent years.

Image: TSP via Wikimedia Commons

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