Sheffield University is Yorkshire’s number one - and that’s official

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IT’S Yorkshire’s number one - and that’s official.

The University of Sheffield has been named the best in the county in a highly respected academic guide.

The Sunday Times University Guide 2012, which is published tomorrow, shows Sheffield has overtaken York to become number one in Yorkshire.

It also shows the university has risen from 18th place nationally in 2009 to 15th last year, before reaching its current 13th position.

The guide says the university performed well in a variety of areas including the health professions, engineering and science.

And the seat of learning produced world-leading research in 47 of 49 subjects submitted, including psychology, architecture and law.

Guide authors used data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the National Student Survey, the national funding councils, university heads of department and the 126 institutions themselves.

They looked at categories including peer assessment, where academics were asked to rate departments in their subject field at other universities on a five-point scale for the quality of their undergraduate provision.

Entry standards – the total number of Ucas points held by students enrolling for courses in 2009-10 - were also considered.

The survey also examined research, the proportion of top quality degrees awarded and drop-out rates.

The ranking is the latest in a long line of recent accolades for the university, including shortlisting for three prestigious Times Higher Education Awards 2011 and listing in the top 10 for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2011.

The university was also successful in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey where it ranked second overall in the country.

It was also named top for its Students’ Union, joint first for its social life, library facilities and accommodation and named “the university most people would recommend to a friend”.

Its pioneering research has also been highly commended this year, named in the top 100 QS World University Rankings and in the top 100 Times Higher Education World University Reputation Rankings, based exclusively on universities’ standing among experienced academics all over the globe.

Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sheffield, said: “Being named top in the region is a fantastic accolade for the university, and one that is richly deserved.

“The university has not only been named top in Yorkshire but has also seen a rise in national ranking, highlighting an exceptional reputation both at home and overseas.

“The university has been acknowledged in recent awards and rankings in a wide variety of areas, including outstanding student satisfaction, innovative widening participation schemes and world-leading research, demonstrating commitment to constantly strive towards excellence in everything we do.”

Paul Blomfield, who was general manager of Sheffield University’s Union of Students until he was elected as MP for Sheffield Central, welcomed the news. He said: “I have always considered Sheffield University to be the best in Yorkshire but to see it confirmed is great news for the city.

“I would also like to say a great deal of strength is also given to the city from Sheffield Hallam University, which is also highly regarded in the academic world.”