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A New Taxonomy of UK Universities Following Introduction of the Unitary System in 1992 <Article>
In 1992, the UK abolished the binary system of universities and a unitary system was established. The purpose of this article is to document the changes that this unitary system has brought to all universities after 1992. To that end, the author will place all universities into a taxonomy where the specific characterisics of each group are made clear. These new groupings did not exist before 1992. Lastly, the paper will examine the relationship between the quality of UK university students and diversity among universities and students.
Before 1992, UK universities were typically classified into 6 groups: ① traditional universities like Oxford and Cambridge, ② old civic universities like Manchester, ③ newer civic universities like Exeter, ④ plate-glass universities like Sussex, ⑤ universities of technology (old Colleges of Advanced Technology), and ⑥ University of London, consisting of federal institutions.
After 1992, the landscape of UK universities changed considerably. Therefore, using Profiles of Higher Education, published by HEFCE, Good University Guide, published by the Times, The Virgin Alternative Guide to British Universities, published by Virgin, The Guardian University Guide, facts and files published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, and National Student Survey, new categories of universities are created. These new groups of UK universities have distinctive new features which affect UK university students and will affect the UK university system itself. Some final comments address the meaning of diversity among universities.
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