Dundee’s success follows a sharp rise in its overall ranking in the Good University Guide’s league table, to be published in The Sunday Times this weekend (September 20th). The University rises eight places to 37th in the UK rankings and to fourth in Scotland.
Outstanding results in the latest National Student Survey (NSS) and a strong performance in the latest research assessments are behind much of Dundee’s rise in the league table. It is now the top university in Scotland under The Times and The Sunday Times analysis of the NSS outcomes for teaching quality, ranking ninth-equal in the UK.
This year is the first time the Good University Guide has separated out student responses to questions in the NSS relating to teaching quality, assessment and feedback, and academic support.
Dundee came top for biological sciences in last December’s Research Excellence Framework, part of a strong all-round performance which saw Dundee improve its UK standing for research more widely.
In making the Scottish University of the Year award to Dundee, judges also took into account the impact of the university on the city and surrounding region, not least the part it has played in bringing the V&A Museum of Design to the Dundee waterfront as part of a £1billion redevelopment of the area.
Alastair McCall, editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said, “The University of Dundee is the epitome of what a good university should be. It provides an outstanding education and university experience for its students, is a key driver in the regional and national economy, and its researchers – particularly in the medical field – are pushing back the boundaries of knowledge and the treatments available to the wider benefit of society.”
The award comes on the back of a run of successes for the University, with Dundee being ranked top in Scotland for student experience in the most recent NSS, Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, and International Student Barometer. These results cements Dundee’s claim to be the leading university in Scotland for student experience, and positions it firmly in the top 20 in the UK.
The University is focused on an ambitious transformation vision through which it aspires to be Scotland’s leading university, transforming lives locally and globally through the creation, sharing and application of knowledge, and by delivering excellence in teaching and research. Being named as Scottish University of the Year demonstrates that Dundee can already make this claim in many areas of its activity.
Professor Sir Pete Downes, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee, said, “As a university, our purpose is to transform lives. While Dundee is well known as a research-intensive university we have also placed an ever stronger emphasis on teaching quality and the student experience in recent years. By ensuring our students experience the best learning environment in Scotland and are prepared for the world beyond university, we transform their lives. As graduates, they are then equipped to make a real difference in their chosen field and help meet our key university challenges of sustainability, health and wellbeing, and design that helps shape the future.
“Our record in recent years on student experience is remarkable. I know from speaking to our students how much they enjoy their time here at Dundee and the reasons behind it are fairly clear. We have a great campus in the middle of Scotland’s most student-friendly city, with top-quality teaching and the best students’ union in the country. This is an exciting time for Dundee with its designation as the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design, the V&A Dundee and other developments.
“We are absolutely delighted to be named as Scottish University of the Year in the Good University Guide. This outstanding series of results and rankings is a tribute to the dedication of staff right across the University. It is also testimony to the very strong relationship that the University enjoys with DUSA.
“This is a great time to be part of the University of Dundee community and we are determined to build on our achievements and fulfil our ambition to become Scotland’s leading university in all the fields in which we work.”
The University has led in Scotland on widening access over a number of years, while employability and entrepreneurship are embedded into the curriculum. The latest Destinations of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) survey showed Dundee’s rates of graduate employment to have risen to 78.4 per cent, an increase of 8.6 per cent in the past year. Levels of overall employment or further study have risen 2.1 per cent to 94.8 per cent in the same period.
The relationship with Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA) ensures students are represented at every level of the University’s decision-making structure and have input into senior management appointments, a unique arrangement in the UK higher education sector.
President Tim Hustler said, “This is yet another fantastic example of what can be achieved when a strong relationship exists between the University and the students’ association. DUSA is very proud of where it stands with the University in partnership, and hopes to continue that for the benefit of all students at Dundee.”