Anglia Ruskin named University of the Year 2023

ARU wins top prize at Times Higher Awards, the ‘Oscars of the university sector’.

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has been named the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2023, the biggest prize in UK Higher Education.

The Times Higher Education Awards are known as the Oscars of the UK university sector, and ARU received the prestigious award during a ceremony in Liverpool. Other universities shortlisted for the main prize included the University of Exeter, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and the University of York.

It’s the latest high-profile award for ARU, after being named University of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards last October and receiving a Gold award – the highest possible rating – for the quality of its education in the national Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in September.

Praising the successful launch of ARU Peterborough and ARU’s leadership on public service education, amongst other achievements, 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 of the award added: “Its achievements paint a picture of a university that knows what and who it is for, and one that is delivering – including taking calculated risks to support its region to the full.”

Vice Chancellor Professor Roderick Watkins said: “Our mission is to transform lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research. Receiving the Times Higher University of the Year 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.

“My colleagues work tirelessly to deliver first-class education, undertake impactful research, and introduce new initiatives for the benefit of our students and the communities we serve. I’m immensely proud of the difference they’re making to our students’ lives.

“Coming so soon after being named the UK Social Mobility Awards’ University of the Year and receiving a Gold award for the quality of our education in the Teaching Excellence Framework, this Times Higher award completes the perfect hat-trick, and our staff deserve enormous credit for this success.”

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 Education judges.

Amongst ARU’s significant achievements in 2021-22 was the launch of ARU Peterborough, delivered through a unique partnership between ARU, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Peterborough City Council. ARU Peterborough is a new university designed from the ground up to meet the needs of local students, employers, and the regional economy.

Also during this period, the UK’s first Samaritans university hub opened on ARU’s Cambridge campus, where trained student and staff volunteers deliver important support to the public, while ARU’s Chelmsford campus hosted the most sustainable British Science Festival ever staged, attracting thousands of visitors.

In addition to winning their latest award, ARU was also shortlisted in the categories of Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, for the Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE) scheme, and Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community, for ARU Peterborough.


Graduate Outcomes Survey. Country refers to mainstream Higher Education Institutions in England, excluding specialist institutions and those with fewer than 500 students. Contains HESA Data © HESA 2023 (

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