Maintaining student numbers and high levels of student satisfaction, developing international activity and increasing research income have topped a strong year of performance by Newcastle University.
Publishing its annual financial statements for 2011-12, Newcastle University highlights investment in improving its city centre campus and also expanding its presence at its medical campus in Malaysia and in Singapore where it teaches a range of engineering degrees.
A focus on graduate employability and enterprise training are also featured in the report, showing a 17% increase in the number of Newcastle graduates starting their own business in the year, with 93% of all students finding a job or further training within six months of graduation.
On the research front, Newcastle has also seen new research awards increase in value by 5% to £97.7m and, with support from a range of funding partners, has opened a range of new research facilities in the year. These include: a national X-Ray Photoelectron Service funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre into Ageing awarded jointly with the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Significantly, in the first year of increased tuition fees Newcastle University has maintained total student numbers and increased the percentage of new entrants with top grades (AAB or better).
Mark I’Anson, chair of Newcastle University Council, explains: “In the face of the challenges of the new fees regime and stiff competition we have reinforced our position as a high quality university, maintaining our student numbers and increasing the percentage of students achieving excellent grades. This is a significant achievement and demonstrates the impact of the many improvements we have made throughout the year.
“Competition has also been tough in the pursuit of research funding. But, as we prepare for the next major review, the Research Excellence Framework in 2014, the quality and impact of our research has been endorsed by impressive growth in the value of new awards, particularly from Research Councils.”
In independent league tables Newcastle has also maintained its performance over several years, consistently featuring in the UK Top 20 and Global Top 200 rankings. In particular they highlight Newcastle’s continued focus on learning and teaching, student employability levels and research income.
Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor, Newcastle University added: “Ensuring every one of our students enjoys the best possible experience during their time at Newcastle is a top priority and this is reflected in our on-going investment in improving the campus and learning facilities for students. The installation of new computer clusters across campus and in the Robinson Library is providing greater access to technology and resources than ever before. We have also worked hard to ensure that every undergraduate can now benefit from work experience, internship or an industry placement during their study time here.
“Sport is also an important aspect of what we offer at Newcastle and so it is encouraging that we can report our most successful year ever in the British Universities and Colleges Sporting league, coming 10th in the UK.
“The impact of these and other improvements are evidenced in this year’s National Student Survey, with 89% of our students satisfied with their experience. As a university which draws students from across the globe, it is also pleasing to report that the latest International Student Barometer places Newcastle in 12th place in the world in terms of the number of students who would recommend us to friends and family.”
Newcastle University’s financial statements can be accessed here.
published on: 20 December 2012