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The Flushed University Rankings

Which university will leave you flushed with success?

We’ve undertaken a cisternmatic review of universities’ wastewater by comparing it to their staff and student head counts (HESA, 2018/19).

Wastewater is any water that has been contaminated by human use (in this case, from university owned estates), and is calculated by meter readings or utility company estimates [source].

To make the data more meaningful to applicants, we’ve got our hands dirty and calculated the equivalent number of toilet flushes per member of staff or student per year. According to Southern Water, one cubic metre = 11 baths or 31 showers or 116 toilet flushes.

The rankings do not take into account The Open University's* students’ home toilet use (FOI pending), upper management dribble, or leaking pipes. It also doesn’t take into account how much universities “massage” their data before submitting it to HESA.

I am obviously not a data expert. If you would like to submit constructive feedback about my methodology, please print your letter of complaint and shred it immediately. Pro tip: on mobile, hold your phone horizontally to see all table columns.

The Flushed University Rankings

Rank University Total volume of wastewater (m3) Total staff and students Wastewater per staff/student (m3) Equivalent no. of toilet flushes per staff/student per year
1 The Open University* 74,423 130,810 0.57 94
2 Birkbeck College 10,312 13,260 0.78 129
3 Ravensbourne University London 2,429 2,905 0.84 139
4 Cranfield University 5,489 6,015 0.91 151
5 City, University of London 22,635 23,595 0.96 159
6 Edinburgh Napier University 20,616 15,345 1.34 223
7 St Mary's University College 1,900 1,205 1.58 262
8 University of Suffolk 14,173 8,250 1.72 285
9 Middlesex University 42,993 21,495 2.00 332
10 Bournemouth University 39,720 19,745 2.01 334
11 The University of West London 25,696 12,560 2.05 340
12 Liverpool John Moores University 55,465 26,990 2.06 341
13 Glasgow Caledonian University 37,864 18,390 2.06 342
14 The Nottingham Trent University 85,435 37,685 2.27 376
15 Royal College of Music 2,880 1,260 2.29 379
16 The Institute of Cancer Research 3,134 1,350 2.32 385
17 Sheffield Hallam University 82,494 35,230 2.34 389
18 The National Film and Television School 1,012 420 2.41 400
19 Coventry University 97,092 39,600 2.45 407
20 Plymouth College of Art 4,307 1,685 2.56 424
21 University of Wales Trinity Saint David 34,226 12,635 2.71 450
22 Norwich University of the Arts 7,211 2,655 2.72 451
23 The University of Huddersfield 52,789 19,360 2.73 453
24 University of Bedfordshire 41,422 15,070 2.75 456
25 Anglia Ruskin University 73,194 26,365 2.78 461
26 Ulster University 76,595 27,165 2.82 468
27 The University of Salford 68,141 23,040 2.96 491
28 The University of Central Lancashire 78,994 26,365 3.00 497
29 De Montfort University 87,030 28,850 3.02 501
30 Newman University 9,735 3,140 3.10 515
31 Birmingham City University 91,027 29,075 3.13 520
32 University of Cumbria 27,090 8,630 3.14 521
33 Leeds Beckett University 91,181 26,165 3.48 578
34 Staffordshire University 57,800 16,305 3.54 588
35 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 9,928 2,750 3.61 599
36 Teesside University 75,265 20,435 3.68 611
37 The University of Sunderland 61,973 16,565 3.74 621
38 AECC University College 2,917 760 3.84 637
39 The Manchester Metropolitan University 145,926 37,855 3.85 640
40 University of Plymouth 87,913 22,455 3.92 650
41 The University of Brighton 96,059 23,775 4.04 671
42 The University of Portsmouth 119,156 29,485 4.04 671
43 The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama 5,100 1,235 4.13 686
44 University of South Wales 107,983 25,055 4.31 715
45 London Metropolitan University 43,571 10,080 4.32 718
46 The Arts University Bournemouth 17,102 3,955 4.32 718
47 The Robert Gordon University 60,492 13,875 4.36 724
48 Glyndŵr University 28,302 6,375 4.44 737
49 The University of Lincoln 80,383 18,050 4.45 739
50 Royal Academy of Music 6,010 1,330 4.52 750
51 The University of Greenwich 96,120 21,115 4.55 756
52 Leeds Arts University 9,796 2,145 4.57 758
53 Goldsmiths College 56,566 12,360 4.58 760
54 SOAS University of London 32,991 7,100 4.65 771
55 The University of the West of Scotland 87,882 18,405 4.77 793
56 The University of Bolton 36,524 7,600 4.81 798
57 University of Derby 106,107 22,030 4.82 800
58 University of Northumbria at Newcastle 144,853 29,355 4.93 819
59 University of Worcester 65,547 13,030 5.03 835
60 University of Chester 82,515 16,375 5.04 836
61 Cardiff Metropolitan University 62,124 12,065 5.15 855
62 St Mary's University, Twickenham 32,851 6,290 5.22 867
63 Buckinghamshire New University 63,207 11,710 5.40 896
64 Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance 10,134 1,820 5.57 924
65 The University of Wolverhampton 121,711 21,555 5.65 937
66 University of the Arts, London 131,666 22,770 5.78 960
67 Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance 5,023 855 5.87 975
68 Solent University 65,960 11,205 5.89 977
69 Royal Northern College of Music 8,206 1,380 5.95 987
70 The University of Glasgow 240,055 38,820 6.18 1,027
71 The University of Westminster 133,805 21,395 6.25 1,038
72 The University of Bradford 72,801 11,125 6.54 1,086
73 The University College of Osteopathy 4,289 640 6.70 1,113
74 The University of Reading 149,079 21,995 6.78 1,125
75 University of the West of England, Bristol 229,669 33,625 6.83 1,134
76 University of Gloucestershire 65,436 9,525 6.87 1,140
77 London South Bank University 131,725 19,075 6.91 1,146
78 The University of Winchester 63,058 8,995 7.01 1,164
79 The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts 7,085 1,010 7.01 1,164
80 Canterbury Christ Church University 112,727 15,900 7.09 1,177
81 University College London 390,124 54,250 7.19 1,194
82 Conservatoire for Dance and Drama 15,348 2,125 7.22 1,199
83 The University of East London 110,811 14,890 7.44 1,235
84 Bath Spa University 68,075 9,045 7.53 1,249
85 The University of Oxford 306,907 39,405 7.79 1,293
86 Falmouth University 54,519 6,950 7.84 1,302
87 Roehampton University 108,389 13,810 7.85 1,303
88 The University of Aberdeen 143,304 18,005 7.96 1,321
89 Leeds Trinity University 31,073 3,885 8.00 1,328
90 University for the Creative Arts 59,981 7,455 8.05 1,336
91 Edge Hill University 128,262 15,895 8.07 1,340
92 King's College London 332,290 41,075 8.09 1,343
93 Cardiff University 333,867 39,995 8.35 1,386
94 The University of Chichester 54,515 6,390 8.53 1,416
95 Harper Adams University 51,081 5,965 8.56 1,422
96 The University of Liverpool 312,961 36,065 8.68 1,440
97 Newcastle University 296,289 33,480 8.85 1,469
98 Stranmillis University College 15,237 1,720 8.86 1,471
99 The University of Exeter 273,884 30,560 8.96 1,488
100 Kingston University 172,975 19,195 9.01 1,496
101 The University of Edinburgh 446,159 48,685 9.16 1,521
102 London Business School 27,096 2,935 9.23 1,533
103 Royal College of Art 26,500 2,860 9.27 1,538
104 The University of Northampton 125,803 13,420 9.37 1,556
105 The University of Essex 173,914 18,440 9.43 1,566
106 Swansea University 236,651 24,450 9.68 1,607
107 The University of Hull 183,043 18,535 9.88 1,639
108 Guildhall School of Music and Drama 19,519 1,975 9.88 1,641
109 Bangor University 121,560 12,240 9.93 1,649
110 Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh 57,776 5,705 10.13 1,681
111 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine 9,799 965 10.15 1,686
112 Queen's University Belfast 299,872 28,840 10.40 1,726
113 The University of Kent 238,312 22,855 10.43 1,731
114 The University of Sheffield 400,299 37,660 10.63 1,764
115 The University of Bristol 355,625 33,290 10.68 1,773
116 Queen Mary University of London 281,656 26,145 10.77 1,788
117 Aston University 186,437 16,810 11.09 1,841
118 The University of Bath 246,616 21,660 11.39 1,890
119 The University of York 272,355 23,830 11.43 1,897
120 Liverpool Hope University 67,298 5,795 11.61 1,928
121 York St John University 89,012 7,480 11.90 1,975
122 University of Hertfordshire 332,847 27,710 12.01 1,994
123 Oxford Brookes University 232,815 19,230 12.11 2,010
124 London School of Economics and Political Science 198,591 16,085 12.35 2,049
125 Bishop Grosseteste University 32,579 2,605 12.51 2,076
126 The University of Cambridge 415,420 33,055 12.57 2,086
127 The University of Southampton 382,217 28,875 13.24 2,197
128 The University of Sussex 311,110 22,470 13.85 2,298
129 Aberystwyth University 138,912 9,780 14.20 2,358
130 University of Nottingham 590,738 41,465 14.25 2,365
131 The University of Leicester 296,185 20,765 14.26 2,368
132 The University of East Anglia 316,698 21,965 14.42 2,393
133 The University of Leeds 648,975 44,670 14.53 2,412
134 The University of Manchester 753,245 51,180 14.72 2,443
135 University of St Mark and St John 46,088 3,080 14.96 2,484
136 The University of Stirling 230,623 14,780 15.60 2,590
137 The University of Surrey 325,161 20,115 16.17 2,683
138 Royal Holloway and Bedford New College 222,990 13,265 16.81 2,791
139 Heriot-Watt University 217,801 12,880 16.91 2,807
140 University College Birmingham 95,131 5,530 17.20 2,856
141 The Royal Veterinary College 61,303 3,515 17.44 2,895
142 Royal Agricultural University 24,880 1,385 17.96 2,982
143 University of Durham 435,748 23,385 18.63 3,093
144 The University of Warwick 611,512 32,815 18.64 3,093
145 Loughborough University 410,973 21,790 18.86 3,131
146 St George's, University of London 114,753 5,700 20.13 3,342
147 The University of St Andrews 283,209 13,345 21.22 3,523
148 Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine 609,311 27,595 22.08 3,665
149 The University of Lancaster 450,364 18,565 24.26 4,027
150 Keele University 322,336 12,890 25.01 4,151
151 Writtle University College 27,529 1,030 26.73 4,437
152 Brunel University London 490,491 17,090 28.70 4,764

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