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Published on Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Northumbria University, has been named University of the Year 2022 in the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

The highly reputable THE Awards, also known as the ‘Oscars of higher education’ recognise exceptional performance, as well as bold, imaginative and innovative initiatives by Higher Education institutions. This is a very significant win for Northumbria University, celebrating its remarkable transformation to become the UK’s first research-intensive modern university.

This success was borne out in the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which is a measure of the quality and strength of research across UK universities. In the REF 2021 results, Northumbria recorded the biggest rise in research power of any UK university for the second time, moving up 27 places to 23rd having previously risen to 50th in 2014, from 80th in 2008.

Taking an innovative approach to research and education
The strategy, which began in 2008, embedded quality research at the centre of everything that the University does, alongside a clear social mobility mission, and alignment to business and the demands of the regional and local economy.

Professor Andy Long, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University explained it is more than a focus on research that has led to this monumental win.

“Our ambition is to give all students with the potential and ability the opportunity to benefit from a Northumbria education. Winning this award shows that the education we give our students is enriched by research – but I genuinely believe what sets us apart from others is that 40% of these students are from traditionally low-participation backgrounds. Along with all our students, they learn from researchers and academics, participate in research and co-create knowledge.”

To be shortlisted for such a prestigious and internationally recognised award is a remarkable achievement in itself – to go on and win is a true milestone in the University’s history and in the work of my many outstanding colleagues.”

Embracing diversity and opening up opportunities
The judges notably remarked that Northumbria had not lost sight of its role within its city and region, drawing 40 per cent of undergraduates under the age of 21 from widening participation backgrounds and placing as many graduates into highly skilled employment across the north-east as all the Russell Group institutions combined.

“The scale of Northumbria’s ambition, the rigour and effectiveness with which it has been pursued, and its role in transforming lives and supporting its region all make it a deserving winner,” said the panel of judges.

This win is a resounding reminder of the calibre of QAHE’s partnerships. Well done to the entire team on this much deserved achievement!

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