Accessibility statement

York shortlisted for University of the Year by The Times & The Sunday Times Guide

Posted on 17 September 2021

York has been shortlisted for University of the Year in The Times & The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Students at a University of York open day Credit: Alex HollandStudents at a University of York open day. Credit: Alex Holland

The University has also risen one place to 19th in the Guide’s annual league table, which is published on Sunday 19 September. The Guide particularly noted that ‘York is everything an outstanding university should be.’ 

The nomination follows the recent announcement that York has also been shortlisted for University of the Year by the Times Higher Education (THE). 

The Times & The Sunday Times Guide announces shortlisted universities - the equivalent of being ‘highly commended’ - and winners at the same time. In its shortlisting decision, the Guide highlighted a range of measures, including:

  • Our package of support measures for staff and students impacted by the pandemic - with a focus on transparency, community-building and civic leadership;
  • Our ambitious vision as a University for public good, with our researchers at the heart of a global effort to drive new insight and investigate the immediate impact of Covid, as well as the longer-term implications for society;
  • Our work to promote social mobility across the institution, including the support provided to care-experienced learners in accessing HE and our commitment to the social mobility pledge; and as a University of Sanctuary  demonstrating our commitment to offering a safe place for refugees, asylum seekers and other people who have been forced to migrate.
  • How the York Festival of Ideas embraced our new digital world, working in partnership with over 100 local, national and international sponsors and partners. Last June, the York Festival of Ideas hosted over 200 free events, attracting and inspiring a world-wide audience of nearly 67,000. Find out more by reading the Festival’s 2021 impact report.

University of York Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charlie Jeffery said: “I feel incredibly proud of our staff and students. This nomination is yet again more recognition of their resilience and determination in
the face of extraordinary challenges this last year.

“What has shone through is a commitment to stay true to our mission - of acting for the good of others. Not only have we done all we can to support our students and staff, but we lived our commitment to being a community with a strong social purpose, even when being tested to the limit. 

“We’ve seen this through many different ways, whether that’s our students volunteering, our work to champion social mobility, or our researchers tackling the deepening inequalities that Covid-19 has magnified. We have aspired to act with heart and conscience, and our University of the Year nomination is a testament to that strength of spirit.” 

Fantastic work

Patrick O'Donnell, President of University of York Students' Union, added: "This demonstrates the fantastic work of both students and staff in not only maintaining, but building our York community, across the globe, over the last eighteen months.

"Our Student Unions worked tirelessly to listen, understand and act decisively to combat the very real challenges the pandemic presented, and together with the University, set about breaking down the social and financial barriers to education. Now more than ever, we’ve wanted to go above and beyond to support one another and to support those most vulnerable in our community."

Viviane Yuxin Cao, Graduate Students' Association President, said: “The pandemic has impacted people in so many different ways, but we came together to help as many of our postgraduate members as possible, supporting them to adapt, access advice and guidance, and feel a sense of belonging of this amazing community through all our networks and events.”

Consistent excellence

Alastair McCall, editor of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “York is everything an outstanding university should be. A key player regionally, nationally and internationally, York has cemented its place in our elite top 20 in this toughest of years. It is among the most socially inclusive institutions in the highly-selective Russell Group and was the first among them to sign the Social Mobility Pledge, which should bring about even greater diversity on campus. 

“Our shortlisting for University of the Year recognises York’s consistent excellence and also the contribution it makes to the wider cultural life of Yorkshire and the North through its annual Festival of Ideas, bringing together great minds in a fortnight of engaging – and free – public events, spanning the arts and science.” 


Media enquiries

Julie Gatenby
Deputy Head Media Relations (maternity cover)

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322029