All but two of the North East's major universities have seen a fall in their position on one of the UK's most prestigious rankings of higher education establishments.

Durham University remains the highest ranked university in the region according to the Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022, and has held on to sixth place nationally.

It was followed by Newcastle University, Northumbria University, the University of Sunderland and Teesside University. All but Sunderland saw a fall in their national ranking.

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The Wearside institution rose from 103 last year to 77 this year, an impressive jump of 26 places.

Newcastle fell 11 places from 31 to 42, while Northumbria dropped five places from 57 to 62. Teesside fell from 92 to 118, a fall of 26 places.

Durham experienced one of the smaller drops in student satisfaction scores thanks to its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic according to the outcomes of 2021 National Student Survey (NSS) which are compared with the results of the 2020 survey.

One of the many buildings of Durham University scattered around the city. The Student Union building on New Elvet.
One of the many buildings of Durham University scattered around the city. The Student Union building on New Elvet.

While Durham's scores have fallen, the losses sustained are less than those experienced by universities elsewhere.

And although Teesside was the lowest ranked university in the region, it had some cause to celebrate after it was named the University of the Year for Social Inclusion, for the "outstanding role it plays in making higher education an option for teenagers in a region with the lowest participation rate in England; 85% of Teesside’s students are recruited within the Northeast of England".

Alastair McCall, editor of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: "Teesside has an outstanding record in delivering higher education into disadvantaged sectors of society that other universities simply don’t reach.

"Based in a region where the uptake of higher education has actually fallen since 2012, Teesside performs better than any other university in the country in recruiting from postcodes with low participation rates.

“The vast majority of students come from homes where neither parent went to university, and virtually all students have been educated in non-selective state schools.

"They go on to achieve well, supported by a university that is geared to ensure their success. Teesside acts like an institution that understands the critical role it plays in social mobility.

"After rising in our diversity ranking every year, Teesside is a worthy winner of our University of the Year for Social Inclusion.”

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 includes profiles on 135 universities and makes use of the latest data published over the last two years.

After a year of closed campuses and a move to online learning, the new edition of the Good University Guide reveals most universities have seen a dramatic drop in student satisfaction and teaching quality scores in the latest National Student Survey.

Only two universities, Imperial College London and the University of Surrey, saw an improvement in student satisfaction scores between 2020 and 2021.

A 96-page supplement will be published with The Sunday Times on September 19, while the ranking can be viewed online here.

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