US mini logoHome | A-Z Index | People | Reference | Contact us

Press release

  • 19 September 2008

Sussex biggest climber in university league table top 30

The University of Sussex is the highest climber out of the 30 top institutions listed in UK university rankings to be published in the Sunday Times this weekend (21 September 2008).

The University has leapt from 30th last year to 22nd place in the Sunday Times University Guide 2008, described as 'the definitive guide for prospective students'.

Aside from the overall ranking, the University also performed well in individual tables. Sussex was rated among the top 20 institutions in the UK for research excellence (17th); for the number of top A-level and equivalent grades achieved by students at time of entry to university (20th); and percentage of students gaining top degrees (6th). Sussex was also listed among the top ten for cheapest university-managed accommodation (7th).

The guide was compiled using data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa), the National Student Survey, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the national funding councils, head teachers, peers and the 120 higher education institutions in the UK.

Assessment criteria included student satisfaction, teaching and research quality, ratings from head teachers and academic peer review, entrance qualifications held by new students, degree results achieved, student/staff ratios, graduate unemployment levels and university dropout rates.

The ranking was attributed to a "sharply improved" National Student Survey ranking, £10m worth of investment in new teaching buildings and social spaces, plans for a new business, management and economics school and the success of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, which Sussex runs in partnership with the University of Brighton.

Professor Joanne Wright, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for teaching and learning, who has led initiatives to improve the student experience at Sussex, says: "We have been working hard over recent years to address our performance in various areas of the university. This new ranking, coupled with our greatly improved performance in the National Student survey this year, is tremendous news."

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, Professor Michael Farthing, says: "I am delighted by this result, which reflects the excellent quality of higher education at Sussex. As we prepare, at the start of the new year, to welcome over 4,000 new students to the University, we will continue to focus on making their experience the best it can be."

The new ranking follows on from the announcement last week that Sussex scored the biggest percentage improvement in this year's National Student Survey. Work will now continue to build on these latest achievements. Projects in progress include:

  • The Sussex Plus initiative, to help students to enhance and document the skills they develop through extra-curricular activities, such as volunteering and student societies;
  • Creation of a state-of-the-art teaching building at the heart of campus for 2009-10;
  • More student residences on campus, with high-quality en-suite provision;
  • Better use of library space for both formal and informal learning;
  • Improvement of cafes and catering on campus;
  • A newly created senior post of Head of Student Support and Experience from autumn 2008

Notes for editors

The Sunday Times University Guide 2008, now in its eleventh year, is a 64-page supplement which is published in the Sunday Times this weekend (21 September). It contains full profiles of all universities and the leading colleges of higher education in the UK.


For details of the National Student Survey score for 2008, see: pressrelease


University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune or Jacqui Bealing. Tel 01273 678 888 or email

Useful links

Site maintained by: Web team Disclaimer | Feedback