It is an interesting time for the release of the new UK university league tables. Whilst graduates are preparing for their release into the toughest economic climate seen for years, many who have established themselves in the growing number of provincial areas at newer institutions are finding that they’ll need to look for jobs in London after graduation. Additionally, those who are considering enrolling are welcoming the ever-improving performance of younger, often cheaper, colleges. So where are the best new universities?

University of Ulster
A frequently well-placed institution on the table, the University of Ulster stays at 51 this year and has excelled in terms of academic service spend over the last year. Since being established in 1968, the university now boasts almost 30,000 students over four campuses in Belfast, Coleraine, Derry (Magee College), and Jordanstown – as well as e-Learning services. In 2009 it has been announced that many Jordanstown courses will be moved to Belfast, further establishing the capital as the central hub.

Robert Gordon University
Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University has climbed 11 places over the past year and currently resides at number 50. Graduate prospects were the most impressive aspect of its performance with a rating of 84.1 – a score that is all the more impressive for the fact that the institution was only established in 1992. Since then the number of students have amounted to over 12,000 across two campuses. This year it was named ‘The Best Modern University in the UK’ by The Times.

Nottingham Trent University
Similarly, Nottingham Trent has also climbed highly over the last year, moving from 52 to 46. With a high average completion percentage and good scores across the board, NT is outperforming such well-established institutions as Stirling and the University of Hull (despite higher student satisfaction scores at the latter). Like Robert Gordon, NT was also established in 1992 as a university, although the institution has origins that date back to the 1800s.

University of Hertfordshire
The most impressive of all the young universities, Hertfordshire has moved nine places to 45 over the last year, and has been described by The Independent as ‘ambitious and entrepreneurial’. Increased spend on facilities have paid dividends earning the young uni (again, since ’92) the honour of being the best performer for an institution of its age, and being at the forefront of those which are closing the gap between Oxford (frequently at the top spot) and those that usually reside in the lower 50.


Sarah Maple writing about jobs in London and the job search market.

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