As the annual round of university league tables and guides come out, academics across the country can be heard fuming about their arbitrary, reductive and misleading nature. But at the very same time, hundreds of thousands of prospective students are pouring over them – weighing the relative merits of various institutions and navigating the intricacies of the application process. Though university guides may be infuriating, it is hard to imagine a world without them.

Yet this was exactly the situation that faced a prospective student a century ago. Read the rest of this post at guardian.co.uk …

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