Durham rises to 4th place in Guardian rankings after falling in Times rankings

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Durham University’s ranking in the Guardian‘s “Best Universities 2021” rose from 5th to 4th in the UK, overtaking Loughborough University.

Durham was boosted in the Guardian’s rankings by its higher scores on the “satisfied with course”, “satisfied with teaching”, and “satisfied with feedback” categories, which are all calculated using data from the National Student Survey (NSS).

Durham also scored well on “value added”, which measures the extent to which students exceed the degree classification predicted from their A Level grades.

In contrast, in the recent Times Higher Education (THE) rankings, Durham was ranked 18th in the UK, below the universities of York, Southampton and Sheffield.

Durham’s position in the THE World University Rankings also fell by 16 places. Since 2013, Durham’s World Ranking has declined from 80th to 149th.

Among the ten universities ranked highest in the Guardian, Durham has the second lowest “spend per student” and the second lowest student-staff ratio. Compensating for this, Durham has a high “average entry tariff”, a measure of the average grades attained by incoming students, though this is lower than the previous year.

Durham’s subject rankings in the Guardian vary widely. 20 of the subjects taught at Durham rank in the top 10, with 12 being in the top five.

The University ranks 1st for Music, 2nd for Chemistry, and 4th for Religion and Theology. Durham ranks 23rd for Accounting and Finance, just below London South Bank University.

Of the Guardian‘s rankings, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge, said: “I am delighted we have risen to fourth position in this national league table.  Our continuing success reflects the work being done here in Durham to give our students an outstanding education and a wonderful wider student experience. 

“To achieve this and our other league table successes during what continues to be a challenging time for the UK higher education Sector, is hugely rewarding and reflects extremely well on our staff and students.”

The University achieved a seventh place ranking in this year’s Complete University Guide, putting Durham in the top ten for the twelfth consecutive year. However, in July, Durham fell to 86th in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Rankings, its lowest in 5 years.

Image: Fellwalker via Creative Commons

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