University of Sheffield European ranking for teaching

The University of Sheffield was named 11th out of 250 institutions across eight European countries in new rankings, underlying the university's reputation for outstanding teaching.

A students asks a question in a lecture and the academic listens intently to the question.

The new rankings from The Times Higher Education are the first international ranking to measure the quality of teaching across the world. The rankings, which places the University of Sheffield joint ninth in the UK, draw on data from the European Student Survey. The survey examines a range of key issues including students’ engagement with their studies, their interaction with teachers, the quality of services at the institution and their opportunities to develop skills which help prepare them for a career after university.

The results were warmly welcomed by Vice-President for Education, Professor Wyn Morgan and President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, who said:

"I am genuinely delighted to see the commitment of extraordinary teachers and colleagues at Sheffield acknowledged in this significant international review of teaching quality in universities. This wonderful result reflects not only dedicated teaching but the way staff work with students to challenge and inspire, listening to their concerns and seeking new ways to connect what they are learning to the challenges they will face after graduation.

Good teaching is not a product. It takes great effort on the part of teacher and student, the latest learning resources, technologies, facilities and sometimes intensive support. The results though are felt throughout the lives of our students and I am never more proud than when graduates around the world speak with pride and affection about those who taught them, challenged them and gave them the tools they took into their careers.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett

President and Vice-chancellor

According to The Times Higher Education, the new teaching ranking assesses the student teaching and learning environment and student outcomes, and was designed to answer the questions that matter most to students and their families when making one of the most important decisions of their lives – who to trust with their education.

Phil Baty, Editorial Director of global rankings at Times Higher Education, added: “While teaching is perhaps the single most important mission of any university, no other international ranking focuses entirely on teaching and learning, placing student needs at its very heart. This initiative is an important world first, offering a much-needed fresh perspective on excellence in higher education."

The University of Sheffield does particularly well in our ‘outcomes’ score, for successful student progress - but it also does very well in our student engagement survey, demonstrating that its students feel stretched, challenged and stimulated by their courses.

Phil Baty

Editorial Director of Global Rankings at Times Higher Education

The ranking includes universities in countries that are a full member of both the European Higher Education Area and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and are classified as a “developed economy” by the United Nations. Building on the success of the THE US Student Survey, which has been running for three years, the inaugural European Student survey captured detailed responses from 30,000 students in more than 10 European countries. The survey also covers a wide range of core questions, focused not on student satisfaction, but on their engagement with learning, and how much they are stretched and challenged in the classroom.

The full results were announced at the Times Higher Education Teaching Excellence Summit.

In June, The University of Sheffield was ranked as one of the best universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2019, strengthening its position as a leading global university for teaching and research. The results placed the University as the 13th best institution in the UK and 75th in the world, a rise from last year’s placing of 82nd. These results position it as the number one University in Yorkshire and Humber and among the top 7.5 per cent of all the universities in the QS World University Rankings.

The University of Sheffield also recently celebrated success in The Guardian University Guide 2019 after subjects from across the institution were ranked among the UK’s best for courses. Earlier in the year, the University of Sheffield Students' Union was voted top nationally for the tenth consecutive year by the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2018.

A world-class university – a unique student experience

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.