ARU Named University of the Year

A word from Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor:

I am absolutely delighted to announce that ARU was named the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023 during last night’s ceremony in Liverpool.

The Times Higher Education Awards are known as the Oscars of UK Higher Education, and the University of the Year award is the highest profile prize in the sector.  Other universities shortlisted for the award this year included the University of Exeter, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and University of York.

In addition to winning the University of the Year 2023 award, we were also shortlisted in the categories of Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, for the excellent Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE) scheme, and Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community, for ARU Peterborough.

Last night’s success is the latest in a run of high-profile awards for ARU, after being named University of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards in October, receiving a Gold award for the quality of our education in the national Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in September and winning the Next Generation Learning and Skills prize at the Green Gown Awards for our Ruskin Modules last week.

Receiving this award is tremendous recognition from within the Higher Education sector that our work is making a real difference and stands out at a national level. I am immensely proud of colleagues who work hard to deliver a first-class education, undertake impactful research, and introduce new initiatives for the benefit of our students and the communities we serve.

The Times Higher Education University of the Year 2023 award honours “exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year”, and ARU’s success in delivering a wide range of high-impact initiatives, across each of its campuses, was recognised by the Times Higher judges.

Amongst our significant achievements in 2021-22 were the launch of ARU Peterborough, delivered through a unique partnership between ARU, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Peterborough City Council. We demonstrated our research credentials with our best-ever performance in the Research Excellence Framework, was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our pioneering Cambridge Institute of Music Therapy Research, launched the UK’s first Samaritans university hub, and hosted the most sustainable British Science Festival ever. And we continued to demonstrate leadership in our approach to public service education, extending the Police Education Qualifications Framework, developed with the Metropolitan Police, to seven further forces across the east of England.

Praising ARU, Times Higher Education said “The impact of the best universities on cities and regions is transformational. A university can be a focal point for community, a hub for innovation, and turn aspiration into reality. Anglia Ruskin University does all this, not just in one city but across multiple centres spanning the east of England – with the institution extending its reach and impact significantly in 2021-22.”

The judges said: “Its achievements paint a picture of a university that knows what and who it is for, and is delivering – including taking calculated risks to support its region to the full”.

And John Gill, THE’s editor said: “After 19 years, hundreds of winners and many thousands of entries, one might expect to get used to the amazing examples of excellence highlighted by the Times Higher Education Awards. But the sheer depth of innovation, talent and dedication that exists at every level of universities across the UK and Ireland never fails to impress.

From examples of individuals making extraordinary contributions, to teams and cross-departmental initiatives leading the way, and of course our University of the Year, Anglia Ruskin University, demonstrating the impact that a great institution can have on cities and regions, our winners exemplify the broad spectrum of ways in which universities are excelling and making a difference.”

For more information about our success watch our film or visit . And please do get in touch if you would like to discuss this or any other aspect of your connection with ARU.

Best wishes,

Professor Roderick Watkins

Vice Chancellor