University celebrates making it into top 50
PLYMOUTH University will tomorrow join the ranks of the top 50 universities in the country for the first time.
The university has moved up 12 places to number 50 in the latest Sunday Times University Guide 2013.
Bath University is to be honoured as the top performing in the South West and ranked third in the country, ahead of Exeter University in seventh place.
But Exeter will be separately named The Sunday Times University of the Year.
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The guide, to be published tomorrow, judges a university on three criteria: teaching excellence, graduate unemployment and graduate level jobs.
UCP Marjon fares less well, slumping from 83rd place to 102 after The Sunday Times changed the way it calculated the league tables, putting greater emphasis on the student experience and graduate outcomes.
The Sunday Times said: "With more than 30,000 students, Plymouth is by far the largest university in the South West – and it is placed fourth in our regional breakdown, having finally broken into our top 50.
"Based in one of Britain's historic seafaring centres, it fittingly received the Queen's Anniversary prize this year for its research, teaching and training across the global marine and maritime sector.The university is home to one of Europe's largest marine institutes and a new £19million building, due to open this month, houses the most advanced wave tank and testing facilities in Britain."
Professor Wendy Purcell, vice-chancellor of Plymouth University, said: "It is great to see this well-deserved national recognition for the region's leading universities.
"The South West higher education sector is going from strength to strength and this should be celebrated.
"We are particularly proud to see Plymouth University rising 12 places to join the elite top 50 in the UK and claim our place as the top modern university in the region, with a particularly high national score for teaching and overall student satisfaction.
"This rounds off an amazing 150th anniversary year for us.
"In the past 12 months we have been named as one of the top 100 'global universities under 50 years old' and ranked tenth in the UK – the only post-1992 university in this group and 60th in the world.
"Our world-leading reputation for research, teaching, learning and outreach has this year also seen us receive the highest accolade that can be bestowed upon a higher education institution, the Queen's Anniversary Prize.
"Just this month we were announced as a finalist for University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards, as well as Business School of the Year and Entrepreneurial University of the Year, with the results to be announced in November."
UCP Marjon said it was delighted to get 79.9 per cent for teaching excellence.
"This places us higher in this category than many other universities in the region," a spokeswoman said.
"The results show an overall satisfaction rate of 87 per cent, which exceeds our benchmark of 84 per cent and is above the national average of 85 per cent.
"This puts UCP Marjon in the top ten of the Guild HE institutions and in the top 40 per cent nationally."
Karen Cook, acting principal, added: "This is another good year for the university college."
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