Northumbria has overtaken Newcastle in The Guardian’s university rankings

It has leapfrogged Newcastle after climbing 20 places

Northumbria University is now rated higher than Newcastle University in The Guardian’s 2021 league table, ascending a staggering 20 places to reach number 27 in the rankings.

While Northumbria, a former polytechnic, received a substantial endorsement compared its previous position of 47, Newcastle plummeted to number 51, a drop of 16 places.

In calculating their rankings, The Guardian uses nine different criteria, namely: overall course satisfaction, teaching satisfaction, feedback satisfaction, student-to-staff ratio, expenditure per student, average entry tariff, value-added score, career prospects, and continuation.

Although Newcastle outperformed Northumbria in many of the categories (some of which, such as entry scores, are influenced by the former’s status as a Russell Group university), the latter’s comparatively excellent performance in the areas of feedback satisfaction and value-added score enabled its dramatic ascent up the rankings.

Northumbria finds itself above more Russell Group universities than just Newcastle, having also overtaken Sheffield (31st), Cardiff (37th) and Nottingham (38th) while retaining its superiority over King’s College London (42nd), Queen’s University Belfast (46th), Liverpool (59th) and Queen Mary (68th).

Staff and students alike have been commenting on the news on social media. Dr Kevin Muldoon-Smith, a senior lecturer in Architecture at the university, posted to his Twitter account: “Not always a fan of university metrics. But, good scores for Northumbria University in today’s Guardian University Guide. Northumbria up to 27th place”.

Newcastle University has, however, maintained its position above Northumbria in The Complete University Guide’s 2021 league table, dropping one place to 23rd while Northumbria dropped two places to 52nd.

At the top of The Guardian’s list, Oxford rose to the top spot from third by swapping places with Cambridge, while St Andrews held second place.

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