Our Position on Rankings
It is estimated that there are about 17,000 universities in the world. They are of a wide variety, operate in different contexts, and may pursue different aims and objectives. Therefore, it does not always make sense to rank one of them as better or worse than the other. None the less, there are attempts to compile rankings and league tables of 'the best' universities in the world, or in any given country.
If you're interested in university rankings, we recommend that you look at as many of them as you can and that you treat them all with caution.
What the league tables measure
Different league tables measure different things. You should check whether the table you're looking at actually measures the things you're interested in. They also assign different weights to the things they do measure. You should know which of the topics they cover they consider to be more important. The weightings may vary from one year to the next (often without any notice or explanation). This would affect the rankings even if nothing else had changed.
Small changes in data can make a big difference in rankings from one year to the next. Therefore, you should ideally look at a university’s rankings over time, not just for the current year.
We also recommend that you look at single-topic rankings such as the National Student Survey or the Employability Rankings. They only measure one thing, rather than bundle together different things. This generally makes them more reliable.
Most of the common rankings and league tables are compounded out of a number of single-topic rankings. Their outcomes depend on the way in which the compounding is done.
Many university league tables are compiled and published by newspapers. When you look at them, you should remember that the first priority of a newspaper is to sell a story to the public.
Current Rankings and Awards
Newcastle University performs consistently well in university rankings, featuring in the top 200 of most world rankings.
- 68th in the UI Green Metric World University Ranking 2015
- 88th in the Times Higher Education’s world's most international universities ranking 2016
- 114th in the Leiden Ranking published 2016
- 168th in the QS World Ranking published 2016
- 190th in the Best Global Universities, published by US News in 2015
- 190th in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking published 2015
- 198th in the University Ranking by Academic Performance published 2015
- 1st in the Russell Group in the People and Planet University League and joint 8th overall
- 22nd in the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 (published 2016)
- 25th in the Complete University Guide 2017 (published 2016)
- 37th in the Guardian University league tables 2017 (published 2016)
- Joint 1st for student support in the UK in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2016 and joint 7th overall
- Joint 12th for overall student satisfaction among comparators in the National Student Survey 2016
- 9th in the British University and Colleges Sports league 2015/16
- 12th in the world and 8th in the UK (among participating institutions) for overall student satisfaction in the International Student Barometer 2015
In the Research Excellence Framework 2014 Newcastle was ranked 16th in the UK for research power and 26th for quality research.
The quality of Newcastle University research is recognised by the award of two Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education. The 2005 award was for a project to address the damage to the environment caused by polluted water from abandoned mine workings. The 2009 award recognised our research in the field of ageing and health.
Times Higher Education Awards
In 2015 Newcastle won the award for 'outstanding support for students'.
Leadership and management awards
The University has received national recognition at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards:
- 2013 and 2015 - the University won the Outstanding Leadership and Management Team category
- 2012 - the University’s Staff Development Unit won the 'Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development' category
- 2011 - we won the 'Outstanding Library Team' and 'Outstanding Estates Team' categories
Newcastle has also been shortlisted in the following categories:
- Excellence and Innovation in the Arts
- Widening Participation Initiative of the Year
- Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development