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UoA rises 14 places to top 20 in Guardian UK rankings

The University of Aberdeen rises in the Guardian’s rankings but falls in Times Higher Education rankings.


By: Anttoni Numminen




The University of Aberdeen (UoA) has risen fourteen places from 34 to top 20 in the Guardian’s UK University rankings, published yesterday.

Unlike many others, the Guardian’s rankings do take into account academic research, instead, focusing on the level of teaching, whether current students rate their course highly and how well graduates find “good jobs”.

According to the rankings, top subjects for the University are Dentistry (1st in the UK), Medicine (2nd in the UK) and Physics (7th in the UK).

However, the University did not fare as well in the Times Higher Education (THE) University rankings which puts UoA at 25th in the UK and 178th in the world, a drop of ten places from last year. It does, however, rank UoA in the top three Scottish Universities, coming after the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow.

Overall Scottish Universities did well. Though in the top 20, St Andrews, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Dundee are all ranked above the University of Aberdeen in the Guardian’s rankings.

Interestingly, the Guardian ranks the University of St Andrews as 1st in the UK and THE ranks St Andrews as 30th in the UK, though this is because of the varying weight given to factors such as level of teaching vs. academic research.

Aberdeen’s other higher education institute, Robert Gordon University, does not come out as well in either guide.

THE ranks Robert Gordon as the worst in Scotland at 95th while the Guardian ranks it at 43rd in the UK.


The Guardian's University Guide top 20 UK Universities - Screengrab.

University of Aberdeen Senior Vice-Principal Professor Karl Leydecker said: “We are delighted to be confirmed as a top 20 UK university in the Guardian University Guide 2021.

“We have risen 31 places in these rankings in the last two years which shows we are making significant and consistent improvements.

University rankings such as these play an important role in helping potential students decide where they want to study and everyone across the University - staff and students - should be very proud of the role they have played in contributing to this success.

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