I know that these need to be taken with a big pinch of salt - but can you see how a uni has performed for a course over say the last 5 years? And which ones are worth looking at? Have followed the debate on here recently about the Guardian ratings being questionable.....
They're all based on different criteria (and give different weighting to each criteria), which would make it effectively impossible to consolidate them and retain any level of meaning.
I wouldn't even look at the rankings when choosing a university to be honest with you, with the possible exception of looking at ranking based on individual criteria that are important to your DC - instead, look at things like - are the entry requirements in line with what your DC are likely to achieve? - is the course content interesting? - is the location somewhere that your DC would like (e.g. big city vs small town vs coast) - when they go to an open day, does it feel "right"? (There's a lot to be said for gut instinct etc.
If you really must look for prestige (which is a nebulous and ill defined concept anyway) then look at things such as whether it's in the Russell Group / former 1994 Group, REF performance etc.
Thanks all -- key for us is employability as the career my ds is interested in (architecture) has been thru major upheaval. The course is only available in some unis and the rankings show lots of variability year on year beyond the top 3 with some unis shooting up the lists and others dropping down by 20 places!!!