Durham has moved down a place in the prestigious Sunday Times University Guide 2013, now fourth after Cambridge, Oxford and Bath, but it’s not all bad news for the University…

Durham has moved down a place in the prestigious Sunday Times University Guide 2013, now fourth after Cambridge, Oxford and Bath universities.

The Guide, which uses a point system, bases its rankings on a combination of factors, from teaching excellence and the number of firsts achieved to drop-out rates and graduate employment.

The University has consistently come in the top 5 UK Universities, with the term ‘Oxbridge’ even being stretched to ‘Doxbridge’ in recent years. The fall from third place to fourth may come as a bit of a disappointment, but it’s not all bad news…

Durham’s global reputation has further improved, recently rising three places to 80th in the Times Higher World Rankings 2012-13, now one of only ten UK universities to feature in the World Top 100. At the same time, Oxbridge have remained in last year’s positions and many top universities, including Bristol, Sheffield and St Andrews, have fallen down in the rankings. Durham increased its performance in all 5 categories; teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook, coming in the Top 50 for citations and for international outlook. Last month Durham came 20th in the world for employer reputation, according to the QS World University Rankings.

Professor Chris Higgins, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, said: “Durham is a world university, internationally recognized for the quality of the research and teaching we offer and the quality of the graduates we produce.

“Our continued strong performance in this world league table and in many other rankings recognizes the strengths and value of the all-round experience offered to our students.”

This year’s National Student Survey has ranked Durham University students as some of the most satisfied in the UK. 89% of students said they were satisfied with the quality of their course, compared to the national average of 85%. The most satisfactory subjects were found to be Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry, all achieving 100% satisfaction ratings.

August this year saw Durham become a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading research-intensive UK universities.

And Durham has also secured the highest success rate in the North for graduate employment, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013, with 84.5% of graduates getting a graduate-level job when they leave. The average graduate salary for Durham is £23,000, compared to the national average of £20,000.

Professor Tom Ward, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Education, Durham University, said: “Durham gives students the opportunity to combine research-led teaching and learning with a college system that allows them to develop their personal skills through activities such as sport, the arts and volunteering.

“The experience we offer helps students to develop key skills for life that make our graduates among the most sought after in the world by leading employers.

“We are delighted that our students have such overall satisfaction with the experience they enjoy at Durham.

“To enhance this experience further we have invested £100m in new facilities across the University, including £48m in the new Main Library extension, Durham Law School and Palatine Centre, which brings student support services, including Counselling Services, Services for Students with Disabilities, the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre, and the Academic and International Offices, together on one site for the benefit of students.”