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Northumbria named UK’s research university and modern university of the year in new university guide

8th September 2023

Northumbria University has been named Research University of the Year and Modern University of the Year in a new league table published by the Daily Mail.

The accolades follow Northumbria being named the UK University of the Year 2022 in the Times Higher Education Awards.

Northumbria was selected as Daily Mail’s first ever Research University of the Year in recognition of its success in the 2021 national Research Excellence Framework where it achieved the UK’s biggest increase in research power for the second time.

This opened the doors to a significant increase in quality-related research funding, cementing Northumbria’s reputation as a leading research-intensive university, creating a transformative impact on both the on-campus student experience and outside perceptions of the University.

The Daily Mail also named Northumbria its Modern University of the Year in recognition of its wider and deep-seated all-round excellence.

Daily Mail award logos

Alongside these awards, the Guide praises Northumbria’s successes in attracting high numbers of students who are the first in their family to attend university, the quality of students it attracts based on its entry points and the numbers of graduates who go into highly-skilled jobs.

Alastair McCall, Editor of the Daily Mail University Guide, said that “Northumbria… took on the long-established, research-intensive Russell Group at their own game. And smashed it.”

Writing in the Guide he said: “Northumbria’s arrival as a research-intensive university of note is the culmination of more than 15 years of effort, the latest success for this serial disruptor and long-standing high performer.

“The fact that three-quarters of graduates gain highly-skilled jobs when half the intake are the first in their immediate family to go to university shows the transformative impact the university has for its students and its enduring value to the regional economy to which many of its graduates contribute by remaining in the northeast. Students, businesses, academia – all are served with distinction by this top-flight institution.”

Professor Andy Long, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University, said: “Northumbria University has a unique position in the sector as a research-intensive university which maintains a clear social mobility mission, unlocking potential and changing lives.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be named as the Mail’s first ever Research University of the Year and Modern University of the Year within our period of being Times Higher Education’s UK University of the Year.

“These awards are emblematic of the type of pioneering university we are; how much we are challenging the status quo; and how we are making people sit up and take notice.”

The first ever Daily Mail University Guide will be published on Sunday 10 September. The Guide will be available online at and in a supplement published free with the Mail on Sunday.  

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