"I love your foreign cash, but not your results!"
BPP University has excluded students who don't live in the UK from its advertising material to enable it to claim it is top of the league for job prospects.
The legal education provider boasts on its website that it "ranks top for postgraduate students in highly skilled employment".
The site claims that "97.1% of BPP University graduates* in employment were in highly skilled occupations 15 months after graduating".
A footnote explains that the statistic is "based on The Graduate Outcomes survey of 2018/19 graduates 15 months after graduating for UK students".
By using the data for UK-domiciled graduates only, the table which follows shows BPP surpassing Cambridge's score and leaving Oxford trailing in fifth place.
However, the source data on which the table is based, compiled by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), also includes the results for students who are not domiciled in the UK.
Incorporating the foreign cohort which BPP is too shy to mention depresses BPP's score to 96.1%, and elevates several other universities' marks. The effect is to drop BPP into fourth place behind Cambridge, Imperial and Oxford.
BPP's website advertises its courses to prospective students wherever they live in the world, not just to those living in the UK, so the all-inclusive result would appear to be the more useful and relevant statistic for it to use. However, while fourth place is still an excellent result, the temptation of a victory over established universities proved too great - and so foreign graduates were erased.
The picture for students is actually even murkier, because HESA's data only considers students who graduate. Research conducted by The Office for Students looked at student cohorts as a whole, and projected that just 31% of BPP students would obtain a degree and find employment. Its rankings placed the university second last in the UK, above only a training college for nannies. Unsurprisingly, BPP decided not to advertise the high proportion of students the OfS predicts will flunk their courses.
BPP declined to comment.