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Announcing the first UK Olympian - University Ranking.
In this ranking of the universities that the 535 members of the 2012 GB Olympic team attended, predictable to many, Loughborough University takes top honours with 46 atheletes. The University of Bath, The Open University, The University of Cambridge and The University of Nottingham round out the top five.
|2||The University of Bath||18|
|3||The Open University||13|
|4||The University of Cambridge||12|
|5||The University of Nottingham||9|
|=6||Liverpool John Moores University||8|
|=6||The University of Leeds||8|
|=6||The University of Reading||8|
|10||St Mary's University College, Twickenham||7|
Some highlights of the results include
- Of the 535 atheletes, 297 graduated from or are currently attending university, 49 of those are attending or graduated from overseas universities.
- The university participation rate at 55% outperforms the current UK participation rate of 47%. This is even more impressive when you consider that many of the Olympic atheletes are too young to attend university or have deferred entrance to focus on their sport during the olympic year.
- The participation rate varies by sport, hockey has the highest rate at 90% followed by rowing at 81% and atheletics at 67%. Of the major sports, football has the lowest rate at 31% and notably lower for men's football.
- Basketball, and to a lesser extent swimming, is dominated by students studying in the United States on scholarship programs.
- Some universities, such as The University of Bath and Loughborough University are also hosting many athletes at their training facilities. However, atheletes that are using the training facilities of the university but are not enrolled are not included in this list.
Of course this ranking relates to which universities have the strongest sports programs, but there is a wider objective behind the ranking. Universities are complex organisations with multiple missions. In addition to their considerable impact to education and research, universities also contribute to society and this contribution, although vitally important, is difficult to measure. Having world class training facilities and coaching staff to train athletes to the highest level of sporting achievement can surely be considered a significant impact to society. Universities also have a huge impact on the lives of their students and the ability of the university to nurture students and create an environment in which individuals can achieve greatness in their walk of life, sporting or otherwise, is very important. Indeed one can see many ex atheletes who have gone on to achieve success in other professions.
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