University of Sheffield named one of the best in the world by largest ranking after a decade of outstanding success

  •  University of Sheffield ranked 12th best institution in the UK in global rankings and top in Yorkshire region

The University of Sheffield has been named one of the best institutions in the world after a decade of outstanding success which has reaffirmed its position as a leading international centre of excellence.

Celebrating a decade of successThe University has risen to 69th place in this year’s QS World University Rankings released today (16 September 2014) and is now recognised as the 12th best institution in the UK and number one in the Yorkshire region.

The highly regarded global ranking is compiled from 90,000 survey responses collected from 3,000 universities across the world and is considered to be the largest and most extensive ranking for higher education institutions.

The QS World University Rankings were established in 2005 and over the past 10 years Sheffield has soared 74 places, from 143th to 69th out of 3,000 institutions, after leading the way in inspiring its staff and students to achieve excellence, make a difference and change lives through discovery and understanding.

A total of 19 Faculty subject areas at the University of Sheffield were recognised within the top 100 with Geography ranked 24th, Environmental Sciences 35th, and Material Sciences 39th.

The global emphasis on high-impact scientific and technological research is the key driver of leadership in the QS World University Rankings which are led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), for the third year.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said: “In ten years the University of Sheffield has moved from 143rd place to 69th place in the 2014 QS World University Rankings. This global table places particular emphasis on the insights of peer academics around the world, who understand our international impact, and we are delighted they recognise our growing contribution amongst the world’s best universities.”

This is the latest of a long list of accolades recently achieved by the University which was named number one for student experience in the Times Higher Student Satisfaction Survey earlier this year.

Last month the University’s Students’ Union was voted the best in the UK for the third year running in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2014. The Union, which underwent a £20 million state-of-the-art refurbishment last year, retained the prestigious title after being awarded a 94 per cent overall satisfaction rate – an increase from last year’s figure of 93 per cent.

The institution has also been recognised for providing outstanding support for international students and early career researchers from all backgrounds after being shortlisted for three prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2014. The University was shortlisted for Widening Participation Initiative of the Year, Outstanding International Student Strategy and Outstanding Support for Early Careers Researchers. The winners will be announced in November.

The University has also receive widespread recognition for leading a groundbreaking campaign to highlight the crucial value of international students to the UK which has now been backed by over 100 universities, education institutions and international organisations since its launch in 2013.

The pioneering #weareinternational campaign, which was jointly founded by the University of Sheffield’s Vice-Chancellor and the Students’ Union President, has been a galvanising force within British Higher Education.

It was developed with the support of Universities UK, the British Council, the NUS and the UK Council for International Students and continues to work with the Home Office and Cabinet Office to produce films which reinforce the message that the UK actively welcomes talented students. The campaign has also been endorsed by the CBI and the British Government’s GREAT campaign.

Determined to ensure it remains a leading global institution, the University of Sheffield is already striving for further success with a number of ambitious plans – all of which will continue to enhance student experience.

The University recently made its largest-ever investment in learning and teaching with the development of its newest £81 million engineering building which will offer state-of-the-art specialist facilities.

The Diamond, which is scheduled to open in September 2015, will create over 500 jobs and contribute £44.5 million to the local economy during construction and the first year of operation.

Moving forward in a ground breaking move, the University has also introduced enterprise education into the entire curriculum, rather than providing it solely as an extra-curricular activity. This will enable staff to embed interdisciplinary and real-world engagement into teaching, in turn helping to inspire and produce graduates who can drive the economy forward.

Impressive building work to create Factory 2050, which will put Sheffield at the heart of manufacturing on a global stage, has recently begun on site. The £43 million pioneering development will combine a range of technologies, including advanced robotics, flexible automation, off-line printing in virtual environments linked to plug-and-play robotics, and 3D printing from flexible automated systems.

Additional information

QS World University Rankings

The QS World University Rankings is an annual league table of the top universities in the world and is arguably the best-known and respected ranking of its kind. Compiled by the QS Intelligence Unit in close consultation with an international advisory board of leading academics, the QS World University Rankings ® is widely referenced by prospective and current students, university professionals and governments worldwide.

The purpose of the rankings has been to recognize universities as the multi-faceted organizations they are and to provide a global comparison of their success against the notional mission of remaining or becoming world-class. Now in their 10th year, the QS World University Rankings 2014/2015 rank the world’s top 863 universities (out of over 3,000 considered) adding 100+ new universities into the current list of the world’s best institutions. The QS World University Rankings are based on four key pillars, research, teaching, employability and internationalization and the methodology consists of six indicators: academic reputation (40%), employer reputation (10%), and faculty student ratio (20%), citations per faculty (20%), international students (5%) and international faculty (5%). This year, 63,676 academic and 28,759 employer responses contributed towards the results, making both surveys the largest of their kind in the world.

The University of Sheffield
With almost 25,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:

Amy Pullan
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9859