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Ulster University has been included in the top 50 universities for the first time in the Complete University Guide (CUG) 2022 League Table’s 15-year history.

After a third successive rise in these rankings, Ulster University has risen 16 places from 60th (2021) to 44th (2022) out of 130 UK universities. This is the highest rank the University has achieved in the Guide’s 15-year history.

Ulster University was given special recognition from CUG for a significant upward shift in the top 50 - climbing 16 places into 44th position. Along with one other UK university, Ulster University has achieved the biggest leap among those now ranked in the top 50, in this year’s league tables.

In allocated scores Ulster University excelled for: student satisfaction with 81%; graduate prospects at 74%; research prowess – it was ranked 13th for research intensity with a huge 84% and 73% for research quality.

What the CUG said about Ulster University:

"Ulster University’s four distinct campuses are at the heart of Northern Ireland. Its inclusive and supportive learning environment welcomes learners from all backgrounds. Industry-relevant education is underpinned by world-leading research and taught by expert staff and practitioners. Close links with employers and awarding bodies ensure that students gain the skills, knowledge, and qualifications needed to achieve their ambitions."

With all of the higher education providers in Northern Ireland ranked among the top 50 universities in the UK, this highlights the strength and quality of provision in Northern Ireland amongst the UK regions.

This is particularly important at a time when many young people may be uncertain about making a university choice that is further from home. These rankings can bolster their reasons and confidence to stay and study in the region which offers world class education, careers for the making and a lifestyle like no other.

Professor Paul Seawright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Ulster University commented:

The University’s significant uplift in these rankings reflects our continuous focus on the quality and impact of our teaching and research, across our unique campuses. The significant investment in the landmark Belfast campus, due to open from September, which will provide a progressive student experience in a state-of-the art city centre campus; the establishment of the School of Medicine at Magee which will produce 70 doctors per year to address sectoral workforce challenges; and over recent years the University has invested £27 million in facilities on Coleraine Campus including a £5m sports centre and a £6.5m media centre.

“The rise in the rankings can also be attributed to our sustained commitment to careers focus and student readiness for career pathways across all campuses, delivering the very best environment for students to succeed and investment in both academic and pastoral support to deliver a rewarding University journey and a confident start to our students’ careers.

“Additionally, the quality of the University’s research is evidenced by the ranking of 13th achieved for research intensity (84%) and 73% for research quality. Ulster University is a research-intensive University with several subjects at the top of the research league tables which deliver globally significant research with local relevance. This research informs teaching across a range of disciplines and makes a positive contribution to society in diverse fields from healthcare to engineering to the creative industries and beyond.”

CUG ranks 130 of the UK’s Universities according to 10 criteria: Entry Standards, Student Satisfaction, Research Quality, Research Intensity, Graduate Prospects – outcomes, Graduate Prospects – on track, Student-Staff Ratio, Spending on Academic Services, Spending on Student Facilities, and Completion.

New for the 2022 release is the addition of the criteria of Graduate Prospects – on track, a measure focused on whether recent graduates agree that their current activity fits with their future plans.

The league tables can be found in full, along with the methodology and more information on the Complete University Guide website.