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Northumbria University, Newcastle has been nominated for University of the Year in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2022. These national awards recognise exceptional performance as well as bold, imaginative and innovative initiatives that have advanced a Higher Education institution’s reputation during the academic year 2020/21.


Northumbria’s nomination reflects its transformation in recent years to become the UK’s first research-intensive modern university. The strategy, which began in 2008, embeds quality research at the centre of everything that the university does, has a clear social mobility mission, and is aligned to business and the demands of the regional and local economy.

Northumbria’s success was borne out in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results where the university 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. The University aims to attract students with the highest potential to benefit from a Northumbria education enriched by this research.  Around 40% of Northumbria undergraduates are from traditionally low-participation backgrounds, and along with all students, they have the opportunity to learn from researchers, participate in research and co create knowledge.

Today, more Northumbria graduates go on to work in the regional economy than nearly all other universities combined, which plays a huge part in the regeneration of Newcastle and the North East.

Combining research with existing areas of strength in relationships with business, skills enterprise and innovation, has created a momentum that Northumbria believes will drive the University into the next decade and beyond. This has also transformed the city, giving Newcastle a second research intensive university. Together, the cities of Newcastle and Durham now constitute a Northern Research Powerhouse with the largest concentration of researchers outside London. This is significant for the North East economy, for inward investment, for influencing policy and for levelling up.


This year Newcastle University has also received a nomination for Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year Award 2022, offering further evidence of the combined strength of the city’s universities. It is the first time, outside of London, that two institutions from the same city have appeared on the same category for this prestigious award.

Professor Andy Long, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University, said: Northumbria has experienced a remarkable transformation. Our world-class research is having real impact and creating exciting opportunities to collaborate with global partners. At the same time, we are combining this with areas of traditional strength such as graduate employability, enterprise and innovation, and opening up higher education to talented students from a more diverse range of backgrounds. This journey began in 2008, when Northumbria's vision was to disrupt the status quo and reposition as a new kind of excellent university and a credible alternative to the more established institutions. In the past few years, the University has realised this vision and that’s something to be extremely proud of.


The winner of the University of the Year will be revealed at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards ceremony in London on November 17, 2022.

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