By Ryan Gould
Durham University heads in to the new academic year having obtained its highest ever position in a prominent university ranking table.
The recent publication of the QS World University Rankings 2015-16 saw Durham rise more than 30 places to 61st, marking the University’s highest ever global ranking since establishing itself in the World Top 100 in 2010.
The QS World University Rankings combines academic reputation, employer reputation, the ratio of academic staff to students, citations per faculty, and the ratios of international staff and students of global universities to formulate its league table.
Ranked 92nd last year, the University’s new position reflects a fairer emphasis on its research citations across the broad subject areas.
Durham’s research influence within global academia saw it ranked 54th in the world for citations — a key element of the rankings, measuring how often other researchers make reference to the University’s research work.
For its Arts and Humanities, Durham placed 44th in the world, while Natural Sciences (joint 57th) and Social Sciences and Management (joint 86th) also broke into the top 100.
The University’s Geography department continues to showcase itself as one of the world’s leading Geography departments, securing fifth place globally. English Studies was also ranked as 36th globally.
The University’s reputation among the world’s leading employers for the quality of, and international demand for, its graduates also remained strong, achieving 31st globally in the category of employer reputation.
Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice Chancellor of Durham University, said that the University’s strong performance in the table “reflects the fact that Durham deserves to be ranked so highly and is a credit to everyone at the University in helping us to achieve this outstanding result.”
“I am particularly proud and pleased that we have scored highly in terms of citations, demonstrating the impact and influence of our research amongst the global academic community,” Professor Corbridge said.
“I’m also delighted that once again the world-class experience we offer to students has been recognised by leading employers who value the quality and strength of our graduates, ranking us among the best in the world for employer reputation.”
Durham also reaffirmed its status as a leading world university last week, as it climbed 17 places to 70th place in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2015-16.
Similar to the QS World Rankings, THE ranks the world’s leading universities according to five different categories: teaching, research, citations, international outlook, and industry income.
Durham rose credibly in the categories of teaching and research, where it is placed among the world’s leading institutions, and continues to perform strongly within the categories of citations and international outlook.
The University’s achievements in both the THE and QS world rankings charts its earlier success this year in securing a place in the THE World Reputation Review’s top 100 for reputation, based on the world’s largest invitation-only survey of academic opinion.
Phil Baty, Editor of the THE World University Rankings, said: “The results are trusted by students and their families, academics, university leaders, and governments.”
“For Durham University to make 70 in the world is an outstanding achievement to be celebrated,” he remarked.
Professor Corbridge further stated that “the significant rises [the University] has made in the THE and the QS world rankings reflect the strength of Durham’s position globally and highlight the world class experience on offer at the University.
“These rankings are a credit to everyone at the University in helping us to achieve these outstanding results.”
Separately, The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016 ranked Durham as the UK’s fifth best university — up one place from last year — while being shortlisted for The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year award for 2016.
Durham was ranked eighth for its graduate prospects in the UK.
Photograph: Durham University